We’re backing apprentice scheme

An important new apprenticeship scheme which would bring ‘major social and economic’ benefits to Angus has been discussed by local councillors.

And as part of our drive to support strong local initiatives, Angus County Press would like to announce our full backing for the scheme.

The future of young people in our county is of great importance to all of us and we are keen to be associated with any drive that will help secure training and employment for school leavers and other unemployed youngsters in Angus.

Angus Council’s policy and resources committee is discussing the potential merits of the scheme which they were being asked to recommend.

Council officers reported to the committee that the proposed scheme had the potential to have a significant social and economic impact on the communities and businesses of Angus.

ACP group editor Brian Stormont said: ”At Angus County Press, we are delighted to back this campaign through our newspapers and websites.

“A good apprentice is a real plus to any business out there and there are many young, talented people who just need an opportunity to show what they can do.

“Having been an apprentice myself, it was a great way to begin my working life.

“The investment in people is the most important investment a business can make.”

The council’s joint report by chief executive Richard Stiff and the directors of resources and planning and place said that it was anticipated the scheme would provide meaningful training and long term career opportunities for young people and would therefore safeguard the skills supply in the construction industry and increase income and spending levels available locally.

The report stated there were currently more than 200 young people between the ages of 16 and 19 not in education, training or employment in Angus.

It added that in addition to this the number of traditional apprentices registered with Angus College had fallen over recent years.

“The Angus Community Planning Partnership has identified the need to grow opportunities for young people. A shared apprenticeship model would enable new opportunities to be tested.

“The partnership has been in discussion with the Scottish Industry Training Board, the Scottish Building Federation and some major local contractors to discuss ways of reversing the decline on apprenticeships in Angus” the report added.

It further stated that the proposal was to set up a company to act as a host agency for a pool of apprentices.

The initial target for the project was 12 apprentices per annum and it was hoped that the company would be established this financial year with the aim to set up by August.