Young people in Dumbarton and the Vale will benefit from modern apprenticeship opportunities next year in a continued effort to support youth employment.

The 29,000 target across Scotland includes modern and graduate apprenticeships, and puts the country on course to reach a longstanding commitment to 30,000 new apprenticeship starts each year by 2020.

This increased goal will help give more people the opportunity to work, learn and earn while providing employers with the skills they need for their workforce.

The 2018/19 target of 28,000 modern apprenticeship starts is on course to be met.

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Announcing the new figure during Scottish Apprenticeship Week, Fair Work Minister Jamie Hepburn said: “It is vital we continue to develop Scotland’s young workforce to meet the emerging needs and opportunities of our employers and economy.

“That is why we are expanding the number of Modern Apprenticeship places available to 29,000 next year, meaning even more people can access a wide variety of work-based learning.

“Apprenticeships are a fantastic way for all employers to invest in their workforce and provide the skills the economy needs now and in the future.

“The Scottish Government are funding more apprentices than ever before and we remain firmly on track to achieve our ambitious target of 30,000 new apprenticeship starts by 2020.”

Damien Yeates, chief executive of Skills Development Scotland, said: “We will continue to work with industry and business to ensure a work-based learning and apprenticeship system that meets their needs while supporting the Scottish economy.”