An air of confidence in Scotland’s electrical sector has led to the fifth year-on-year increase in the number of apprentices attracted to the industry, according to SELECT, the industry’s campaigning trade body.
A combination of greater employment opportunities, and increased optimism regarding future employability has meant a 6% increase in electrical apprenticeship numbers, with 750 people signed up to begin apprenticeships or adult training schemes run by the Scottish Electrical Charitable Training Trust (SECTT) this year.
This rise in apprenticeship numbers – a key target of the Scottish Government, as well as Skills Development Scotland (SDS) – continues the steady upwards trend since the 2007-2008 recession. The increases in the electrical industry have outpaced apprenticeship numbers in comparable trades, such as plumbers or joinery apprenticeships.
Anne Galbraith, Chief Executive of SECTT, said: “At the pre-recession peak, we were training more than 900 new apprentices yearly, some of whom were placed with SELECT’s member companies, and going on to become the skilled tradesmen of the future.
“The encouraging yearly increases have brought us to the point where new apprentices are catching up with the natural wastage of those retiring, moving on, or leaving the UK.”
Of the new apprentices, 136 are adult trainees – many with previous work experience in construction, but with no formal qualifications. They will join 2700 apprentices over the three stages of training, at one of the 20 approved centres from Shetland to the Borders.