I WAS recently privileged to present the awards at the City of Edinburgh Council Modern Apprenticeship Graduation. It was a well-attended event with the graduating apprentices accompanied by family, friends and colleagues.
Apprenticeships are a great opportunity to develop our workforce and provide opportunities to Edinburgh school-leavers. It is encouraging to see so many young people join the council as apprentices, and who are now continuing their career in permanent posts with City of Edinburgh Council. A total of 25 of the 37 graduating apprentices remain with the council. The others have found employment with other organisations.
During the ceremony, three young graduates presented on their personal experience of the programme. I was tremendously impressed with the quality of their presentations and their confidence.
The Modern Apprenticeship Programme is a great way for City of Edinburgh Council to lead by example as a partner in the Edinburgh Guarantee. The promise of the Edinburgh Guarantee is that all sectors in the city will work together to ensure every young person in Edinburgh will leave school with the choice of a job, training or further education available to them.
I am proud to say that the City of Edinburgh Council has supported 223 Modern Apprentices since the Edinburgh Guarantee started in 2011.
Whilst it has been a challenging year, as we go through a significant transformation of our workforce, our commitment to young school leavers has continued. In the current programme, we have committed to 39 new apprenticeships this financial year and will increase this number again next year.
The Edinburgh Guarantee has now worked with over 550 employers to offer over 3123 opportunities for school leavers, with over 2166 matches into jobs. Our partner employers range from small businesses to large organisations. If your company is not involved – why? We need to prepare for the future and invest in our children.
The vision of the Edinburgh Guarantee continues to grow and organisations are pledging jobs, paid work experience, training, or mentoring and other support every day.
Modern apprenticeship programmes, to be successful, require a significant input and I would take this opportunity to thank all the managers and staff who have supported, and will continue to support these apprentices.
We strive to ensure that Scotland’s Capital remains the most prosperous UK city outside London. A robust and diverse economy that attracts new business is key to our prosperity. These young graduates, along with those from other programmes, are the future of a resilient economy in the city and will be an integral part of the Capital’s future. I wish them every success in their future careers.
Councillor Frank Ross is deputy leader at Edinburgh City Council