Free event outlines the real benefits of work-based learning

Duns-based ScotlandShop founder Anna White, pictured with employee Auryn Chorley who won a Scotland Apprenticeship award last year.
Duns-based ScotlandShop founder Anna White, pictured with employee Auryn Chorley who won a Scotland Apprenticeship award last year.

The benefits of improving the skills of their workforce will be put to Borders business people at a special event in the region.

‘Making Skills Work for Employers’ is a free event being held at the Kingsknowes Hotel in Galashiels on Tuesday, November 8, (8-11.30am) focusing on work based learning.

“There is a great deal of evidence showing that work based learning offers real and sustained benefits for businesses of all sizes,” said Pam Ralston, employer engagement adviser at Skills Development Scotland (SDS).

“Apprenticeships are aligned to the needs of employers, there’s support with training and employers can attract motivated young people looking for a good start to their careers.

“Europe’s highest-performing economies have strong systems of work based learning which contributes to low unemployment, fewer skills shortages and high economic growth.

“With the continued increase in Modern Apprenticeships now being complemented by Foundation Apprenticeships and Graduate Level Apprenticeships, it’s the ideal time for employers to learn more about how this can benefit their business.”

Employers across Scotland are now involved in delivering Foundation Apprenticeships, which sees senior school students completing elements of an apprenticeship while still in the classroom and earning an industry-recognised qualification.

New graduate level apprenticeships are also offering advanced work-based learning opportunities up to Master’s degree level for employees.

Among those to benefit is Duns-based retailer the ScotlandShop, with founder Anna White using a Modern Apprenticeship to attract and train team member Auryn Chorley.

Anna said: “Auryn helped greatly with a recent major stockroom reorganisation and offered suggestions for layout and labelling improvements which were excellent. He deals so well with our customers and has fitted in perfectly with our small team here.”

Auryn’s commitment led to him being named Level 2 Modern Apprentice of the Year at Scotland’s Apprenticeship Awards last year.

Auryn added: “I started in the shop and found quickly that I really enjoy all the different aspects of what we do. I like how the apprenticeship was about putting the theory into practice.”

During the skills event at Kingsknowes Hotel, Skills Development Scotland will offer businesses of all sizes the chance to speak to experts about the benefits of taking on apprentices and to hear about the latest developments in the range of apprenticeships available.

Pam Ralston added: “There is a great deal of evidence showing that work based learning offers real and sustained benefits for businesses of all sizes.

SDS currently supports businesses in employing more than 25,000 new Modern Apprentices each year, offering valuable on-the-job experience from day one and an accredited qualification.

The event is one of a series of Making Skills Work for Employers events being hosted by Skills Development Scotland over the autumn.

Employers can reserve a free place by visiting mswewblborders.eventbrite.co.uk