See Scottish electrical apprenticeships on the increase again

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"611","attributes":{"class":"media-image alignleft size-medium wp-image-5693","typeof":"foaf:Image","style":"","width":"200","height":"300","alt":"SELECT - Rising confidence and major projects - Newell McGuiness"}}]]An air of post-recession confidence in Scotland's electrical sector has led to another rise in the number of apprentices attracted to the industry, according to SELECT, the industry's campaigning trade body. Greater employment prospects mean that 650 people have signed up for apprenticeships and adult training scheme places run by the Scottish Electrical Charitable Training Trust (SECTT) in 2015, up from 580 last year. Apprenticeship numbers, a key target not only of the industry but of the Scottish government, are now at the highest numbers since the depths of the recession in 2009-10 and continue a steady upward progress. Anne Galbraith, chief executive of SECTT, said: "SELECT's member companies are taking on more and more of the skilled tradesmen of the future, and they have stuck with the training programmes through the bad times of the past few years. "While some areas of Scotland are doing better in terms of economic recovery than others, we are seeing a gradual upward incline in the take-up of apprentice places, and that is a more sustainable situation than sudden peaks and steep troughs. "There is a huge amount of building going on in Scotland at the moment, and the supply chain is benefitting enormously from major infrastructure projects such as the new Forth Crossing and the re-opened Borders Railway. "Regions such as the Central Belt, particularly Edinburgh and the Lothians, are seeing significant levels of activity and the even the Aberdeen area is holding up in terms of construction schemes despite the problems caused by the fall in the oil price." Of the 650 people joining the sector in 2015, 105 are adult trainees - many of them over the age of 25 and many who previously have worked in different capacities in the construction industry but have no formal qualifications. Anne Galbraith said: "It is particularly gratifying to see opportunities opening up for people who have a connection to the construction sector, allowing them to add considerable value to their employment skills." Pre-apprenticeships are also on the rise in SECTT's 19 centres across the country, from Stornoway and Thurso in the north to the Borders. These short schemes provide taster courses for younger people to help determine if an electrical apprenticeship is for them. Employers are increasingly selecting apprentices from the ranks of successful pre-apprenticeship candidates. Newell McGuiness, managing director of SELECT, said: "The rising numbers of companies investing in high-level training of this nature reflects a rising confidence across the board and a more hopeful outlook for the future. "There is no doubt that there was something of a hiatus before the referendum campaign last year and the uncertainty of this year's UK General Election. Now that the political landscape is more settled for the immediate future, it is reasonable to expect that confidence levels will continue to hold up." SECTT is a non-profit making organisation that is concerned only with the training of apprentices within the Scottish Joint Industry Board apprenticeship scheme. The trust was established by SELECT and the Unite union, both of whom appoint an equal number of trustees as their representatives. The SJIB training scheme is the only industry approved training scheme for electrical contracting apprenticeships in Scotland. This scheme is designed to regulate the entry, conditions of service, training and education of apprentices in the electrical contracting Industry. For more information please contact David Wright, Head of External Affairs at SELECT , the Electrical Contractors’ Association of Scotland, tel. 0131 445 5577.

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