Financial services traineeships
Plans for 460 new financial and business services apprenticeships across Scotland were unveiled by First Minister Alex Salmond today to help boost skills and support economic recovery.
The First Minister made the announcement during a visit to the Capita Group's offices in Glasgow - where Ministers have been arriving ahead of a meeting of the Cabinet in the city tomorrow (Tuesday).
Today's announcement is part of a £16 million programme to create 7,800 new apprenticeships across various sectors and responds to a demand identified by Sector Skills Councils.
Mr Salmond said:
"The Scottish Government recognises the importance of a stable and thriving financial services industry to the success of our economy.
"It is important that the Scottish Government engages with companies right across the Scottish financial sector, to ensure that we support both job creation as well as doing all we can to prevent job losses.
"These apprenticeships will be spread across companies within the Scottish financial and business sector and today I've been discussing with the management of Capita the importance of maximising the training and employment opportunities in Scotland, while minimising potential job losses in a challenging economic climate.
"Obviously one of the keys to success is upskilling the workforce within the sector hence the Scottish Government's concentration on skills and training.
"Scotland remains a leading international centre for life assurance, pensions and asset management. We are determined to build on these strong foundations to enable our financial services industry to face the challenges head on and grasp every opportunity that arises.
"This latest funding for new apprenticeships shows that, where we have the powers, this Government is prepared to deploy them to deliver prompt, effective responses to the needs of Scotland.
"We are committed to promoting a smarter Scotland and a globally competitive economy based on high-value jobs and progressive, innovative business management and leadership."
Scotland's financial services industry contributes around 8 per cent of the country's gross domestic product and the most recent figures (for 2007) indicate that it employs more than 90,000 people.
The 460 apprenticeships are being created across Scotland, backed by £549,000 funding, as part of the Scottish Government's skill support package, ScotAction, which is being taken forward by Skills Development Scotland (SDS).
The majority of apprentices will be adults aged above 19 and most of the apprenticeships will be at SVQ Level 2.
Today's announcement follows confirmation over the summer of funding for apprenticeships across other sectors including hospitality, health and social care, life sciences, management and retail.