Training programmes for your workforce

Find out about Modern Apprenticeships, Get Ready for Work and Training for work and how your business can get involved


3 min read

1. Overview

Having a highly trained workforce enables you to keep pace with changes in technology and working practices, giving your business a competitive edge.

Vocational training can help increase your employees' knowledge and skills, which means they will be more capable, motivated and efficient. It can also help your business to provide clear career paths, enabling you to retain valued employees.

Skills Development Scotland (SDS) delivers a range of national training programmes:

  • Modern Apprenticeships
  • Get Ready for Work
  • Training for Work

Modern Apprenticeships are geared towards helping employees to gain industry-recognised accreditations, including SVQs and NVQs. They are all-ages but support from Government is focused to those aged 16-24.

The Get Ready for Work programme helps 16 to 18 year-olds improve their vocational and core skills, fill any knowledge gaps and boost their overall employability.

Training for Work is designed to help those over 18 who have been unemployed for 13 weeks or more add to their skills and increase their chances of finding work.

This guide will explain how these schemes work and how your business can get involved.

2. Modern Apprenticeships

Whether or not you already have in-house training in place, Skills Development Scotland's (SDS's) Modern Apprenticeships programme can boost your staff development efforts by providing a structure for the vocational training of employees.

Modern Apprenticeships are available in a number of sectors, including:

  • engineering
  • management
  • health and social care
  • financial services
  • hospitality

Modern Apprenticeship frameworks are developed by the appropriate Sector Skills Council for that sector.

Trainees are generally encouraged to progress through the various levels of qualification available, although this isn't the only focus of the vocational training. They also learn a range of the following 'core skills':

  • communication
  • teamwork
  • problem solving
  • numerical skills
  • IT skills

All trainees must be in employment to participate. The programme is free to the trainee, and SDS can provide funding towards training costs. You will still have to contribute towards the training costs - and cover the employee's usual wages - but in return for your investment you'll improve productivity, and attract and retain better staff.

Employer Recruitment Incentive

Employers who offer Modern Apprenticeships to young people who may otherwise find it difficult to secure a job or Modern Apprenticeship can receive up to £2,000 towards their training costs.

For more information about Modern Apprenticeships, call the Employer Helpline on Tel 0800 783 6000.

3. Support for improving Employability

Get Ready for Work

The Get Ready for Work programme helps individuals improve their employability by boosting their vocational and core skills.

The scheme is open to 16-to-18 year olds and offers them a temporary work placement in a sector that is of interest to them. A training provider will be on hand throughout to offer them support.

Trainees who take part on a full-time basis will receive a training allowance and may be eligible to claim travel costs.

As an employer, Get Ready for Work can benefit your business by giving you access to potential employees who have undertaken job training.

You can find out more about Get Ready for Work on the Skills Development Scotland website. Alternatively, contact Skills Development Scotland on Tel 0800 783 6000.

Training for Work is designed to help those over 18 who have been unemployed for 13 weeks or more add to their skills and increase their chances of finding work. Individuals who have just been made redundant can gain immediate access to the programme.

Training for Work

Training for Work courses are available in a number of occupational sectors and can be tailored to meet the needs of local employers so that participants are given the specific skills that a particular industry is looking for.

By getting involved in the Training for Work programme, employers can reduce their recruitment costs and gain highly motivated employees with up-to-date, relevant skills.

You can find out further information on Training for Work on the Skills Development Scotland website.

Read our guide on Business mentoring.

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