Categories: Press


Published date : 08 Mar 2021

Call follows the Leven MSP’s virtual meeting with apprentices at Diageo

Mid Fife and Glenrothes MSP, Jenny Gilruth, has urged employers in Fife to apply for the SNP Government’s £15 million Apprenticeship Employer Grant.

The call was made by the MSP following a virtual meeting with apprentices at Diageo to mark Scottish Apprenticeship Week, which runs from 1st to 7th March.

The MSP has encouraged employers to make the most of the fund which would provide £5,000 for taking on or upskilling a 16 to 24-year old apprentice for those aged up to 29 years who are disabled, care leavers and minority ethnic and £3,500 for taking on or upskilling an apprentice over 25.

The grant will help increase the number of employers able to take on an apprentice or upskill an existing staff member. The fund closes on 25th March or until funding levels are exceeded.

During her virtual meeting at Diageo, organised by Skills Development Scotland, Jenny heard from several apprentices based at the company’s Leven site.

Teri Skivington had joined Diageo in Leven as a temporary operator five years after leaving school before she secured a Mechanical Engineering apprenticeship with the company. Reis Peggie played professional football for a number of teams, including Celtic, Falkirk, and Alloa, before joining Diageo and securing an Operator apprenticeship.

Across Scotland, Diageo employ 74 Modern Apprentices and 8 Graduate Apprentices, including 20 based in Leven, and this week are opening recruitment for apprenticeship vacancies.

Commenting, SNP MSP for Mid Fife and Glenrothes, Jenny Gilruth said:

“The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the jobs and opportunities available for young people and employers have faced incredible challenges due to the pandemic – that’s why the SNP Government has introduced the Apprenticeship Employer Grant.

“I was delighted to mark Scottish Apprenticeship Week by meeting virtually with apprentices at Diageo, including several at the Leven site. Each of the apprentices I spoke to had a different life experience that led them to take up their modern apprenticeship opportunity, but all them agreed that securing an apprenticeship has been important for their careers and skills development.

“As such, I am encouraging local businesses in Fife to register for the Apprenticeship Employer Grant scheme and take on apprentices – creating jobs and teaching our young people new skills.

“Alongside the Young Person’s Guarantee the SNP Scottish Government is taking steps to ensure we build a resilient recovery. To do that we need a resilient workforce and our young people will be at the very heart of that.”

Gillian Dalziel, Early Careers Specialist at Diageo said:

“It’s been a great opportunity to showcase some of our apprentices to our local MSP, and celebrate the hard work and commitment they have made to their future careers. Apprenticeships combine the best of all worlds for young people starting out on their careers. Learning on the job, gaining qualifications and experience in fast-moving working environments alongside being paid makes it an attractive offer.

“There is undoubtedly a huge appeal for apprenticeships among school leavers and college students and having highly motivated, entrepreneurial and dynamic young people in businesses is a fantastic way for organisations to future-proof and grow.”

Skills Development Scotland Chair, Frank Mitchell, said:

“Scottish Apprenticeship Week shines a light on the great things that happen when business backs talent through apprenticeships. Talented individuals of all ages and backgrounds have the chance to reach their potential with an apprenticeship. Scottish Government plans and the Young Person’s Guarantee put youth employment and apprenticeships at the heart of Scotland’s economic recovery.   In challenging times, apprentices can play a vital role in supporting businesses and the economy now and for the future. For businesses backing talent, who can give someone the chance of an apprenticeship – there’s more support than ever before.”

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