Modern Apprenticeship boom

A CALL for Angus to be at the forefront of a Modern Apprenticeship (MA) boom in Scotland’s £12.5 billion food and drink industry has been made by Angus South MSP Graeme Dey.

Scottish Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead noted at the Royal Highland Show in Ingliston last week that thousands of job opportunities are expected to become available in the sector over the next five years due to retirement and expansion.

Mr Dey wants to see Angus with its reputation for high quality local produce to play a leading part in filling the MA roles.

He commented: “Angus, as we are well aware locally, is a hub for outstanding local produce and contributes substantially to Scotland’s thriving food and drink industry.

“With the sector nationally one of our country’s greatest success stories in recent years and with so many jobs expected to be created as a result, there is no reason that ‘Scotland’s Birthplace’ won’t be at the forefront of the modern apprenticeship take-up.

“I attended the Royal Highland Show last week and was struck by how Angus produce and Angus firms are held in such high regard across Scotland. We are famed for our food across the globe and we have a great number of successful local companies which demonstrate our entrepreneurial flair. I am sure many local people will grasp the opportunity of a modern apprenticeship enthusiastically.”

Launching the initiative, Mr Lochhead, said: “Scotland is rightly hailed as a land of food and drink, with our wonderful produce recognised the world over, and we want to build on our reputation at every turn.

“Four years ago there were less than 100 food and drink Modern Apprentices and now there are more than 1,000. This represents a huge vote of confidence by the industry in a process that allows them to ‘grow their own’ skilled people to meet the need of their business.”