Young Workforce Key to Business Success

Pippa Van Wees of Angus Active Schools who took up an apprentiship as an Active School Coordinator

Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2021

ALMOST 500 Apprentices have successfully been placed across Dundee & Angus in the last twelve months and Developing the Young Workforce Dundee & Angus (DYW) is hoping to build this success as Scottish Apprenticeship Week takes place this week (1st-5th March).

DYW Dundee & Angus aims to connect employers with young people aged between 16 and 25 years old seeking career opportunities, as well as promote apprenticeships to businesses that could benefit from young talent.

Hilary Roberts, Manager at DYW Dundee & Angus, said: “458 apprentices were successfully placed into businesses across the area during the last challenging twelve months, while also finding new opportunities for existing apprentices made redundant due to the pandemic.”

“Young people have shown a real resilience during these turbulent times and we’ve seen this first hand. The total number of apprentices in training across Scotland is 34,725 compared to 39,240 the previous year. While total numbers are down slightly, we are proud that in a global pandemic so many apprentices have still been given and made the most of these opportunities. This clearly demonstrates employers see the value in apprentices, and young people will help businesses come out the pandemic in a much stronger position.”

Like a lot of young people, 21-year-old Pippa left school not knowing the career path she wanted to follow. Leaving Arbroath Academy in 2019 and undecided about her career, Pippa took a year out to evaluate her options. University was something she’d thought about but having become accustomed to earning a wage through bar and restaurant work, an apprenticeship appealed giving her the best of both worlds; learning while earning a living.

Discovering the Active Schools apprenticeship programme, Pippa knew this was the path for her to follow as sport is a huge part of her life. Two years into the programme, Pippa is working towards becoming an Active Schools coordinator working with primary, secondary and additional support needs schools to increase the number and diversity of young people participating in Active Schools activities.

DYW has worked with some of Dundee and Angus’ most influential companies to place apprentices into a wide range of industries for over five years including construction, sport, IT and hospitality. Montrose based Glaxo Smith Kline has taken on a yearly intake of apprentices for over 40 years and continue to see the benefits of employing young people.

Mel Robertson, Engineering Team Manager at Glaxo Smith Kline started as an apprentice with the company in 1986. He said: “Bringing young talent on board is at the core of our business and we know the value in working with young people. In the forty years that Glaxo Smith Kline has been involved in recruiting apprentices, over 150 have been taken on. We reap the benefits as employees climb the ranks of promotion. It has a hugely positive impact on the business and we’re actively looking at other areas where we can introduce new apprentice roles increasing the annual number we bring into the business.”

Support is available in many forms, with a number of grants up to £5,000 readily available, and 95% of the education costs covered by the Scottish Government.

DYW is currently looking for new businesses to form partnerships with young people across Dundee and Angus. Suitable for any business regardless of size or industry, apprentices can provide a wealth of ideas, experiences, knowledge, and a unique approach. For more information visit the Developing the Young Workforce website at

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