I am a huge supporter of apprenticeships, having had a local school leaver join my team every year for twelve months as my Apprentice Caseworker since I was first elected, and so it was a great pleasure to meet three of Scotland’s newest electrical power engineering apprentices earlier this week.
Along with Glasgow MPs Alison Thewliss and Carol Monaghan, I met with 18-year-olds Craig Martin and Megan Dougan, and 21-year-old Morna Grant. Craig is in his first year of an electrical apprenticeship, Megan is studying towards her Foundation Degree in Electrical Power Engineering, and Morna is in her first year of a plumbing apprenticeship.
Apprenticeships give young people a secure future, valuable experience, a regular pay packet and a recognised qualification. Not only does this give them a great opportunity but it also helps to drive our economy forward as we compete on the world’s stage.
SSE has hired more than 800 apprentices over the past eight years, investing £80,000 for every new recruit, totalling more than £60 million, with 95 per cent of their recruits staying with them after they’ve completed their training. SSE trainees help maintain 205,000 km of power lines across its distribution and transmission networks and power stations, wind farms and hydro projects as well as carrying out commercial or domestic electrical work.
I would absolutely encourage anyone to consider the fantastic opportunities presented by an apprenticeship. I will be hiring my next apprentice early next year, and we also have the outstanding Silverstone University Technical College which opened a couple of years ago at the Silverstone Circuit. Silverstone UTC specialises in High Performance Engineering and Business & Technical Events Management for 14- to 19-year-olds, and is highly successful in working with great local companies to help their students into work and apprenticeships.