Jamie Hepburn MSP, Minister for Employability and Training Visits Lochaber Businesses
On Monday 12th June 2017, Jamie Hepburn MSP, Minister for Employability and Training made his inaugural visit to Lochaber. We organised the trip, to provide local employers and stakeholders with the ideal opportunity to meet with Mr Hepburn, and hear his update from the Scottish Government on exciting employment news with further focus on the successful impact of regional DYW groups. Mr Hepburn’s trip incorporated visiting, West Highland College UHI, where there was an open invitation to the public to hear his talk, express views and ask specific questions. As part of his talk, Mr Hepburn announced that statistics have shown that the number of Modern Apprenticeships starts exceeded the 2016/17 target of 26,000; further promoting Scotland as having one of the lowest youth unemployment rates in the EU. Mr Hepburn in addition highlighted a new Rural Supplement through Skills Development Scotland, to help support training provision in more remote areas. As part of Mr Hepburn’s trip, he also visited key businesses involved with the DYW agenda: HW Energy, Lochaber Smelter and Robertson Construction to learn more about their training needs and future workforce plans.
Douglas Ormiston, Programme Manager, DYW West Highland, said: “It was fantastic to have the Minister for Employability and Training visit Lochaber. Creating opportunities for young people in the West Highlands is core to the objectives of the DYW West Highland team. A key factor in making the new Foundation Apprenticeship scheme work is that we overcome the twin challenges of geography and low population. To make Foundation Apprenticeships a success, we need strong partnerships between schools, colleges, DYW and employers to ensure that young people in the West Highlands get the best possible opportunities.”