Local authority is Scotland’s best public sector employer

Press release issued by Skills Development Scotland today in recognition that we have been named Scotland's first Public Sector Employer of the Year.

The City of Edinburgh Council has been named Scotland’s first Public Sector Employer of the Year.

It won the newly created category for public sector employers at the Awards, delivered by Skills Development Scotland, in Glasgow Science Centre on Wednesday 13 November.

The Council’s determination to provide positive outcomes for the capital’s young people has resulted in the Edinburgh Guarantee, a city wide initiative, which offers the opportunity of a positive workplace destination to the city’s school leavers and young people.

Sue Bruce, Chief Executive of the City of Edinburgh Council, identified “a disconnect” between the city’s prosperity and the options available to young people living there, which drove the development of the Council led initiative.

“This resulted in the Council leading by example and taking on 130 Modern Apprenticeships in 2012/2013, over one per cent of our total workforce,” she explained.

“This gave us – with partners including Skills Development Scotland - a model to market to our stakeholders and suppliers.”  

The Modern Apprenticeship model allows the Council and partners to recruit school leavers and offers strong vocational training with industry recognised qualifications.

The Council’s apprenticeship programme is also about developing a workforce for the future to ensure the citizens of Edinburgh receive the services they need. A further benefit is that Modern Apprentices bring with them energy and new ways of thinking.

Council apprentices work in business administration, construction, customer services, horticulture, engineering, arboriculture, creative industries and youth work.

Sue Bruce said: “This is fantastic news. One in a hundred of our employees is now a Modern Apprentice and so it is great to have this recognition of the work we are doing to help so many young people make a positive step at this very important stage of their lives. As well as benefitting the young people directly, the apprentices are making a direct and valued contribution to our workplace. The Edinburgh Guarantee programme has played a huge part in this success and has also helped other employers in the capital recruit hundreds of young people.”

Angela Constance, Minister for Youth Employment, said: “All of this year’s winners are to be commended for their hard work. These awards rightly celebrate all that is great about Modern Apprentices in Scotland and underline the qualities that they bring to our workplaces. I regularly visit employers of all sizes and am constantly impressed at how positively young people employed as Modern Apprentices are making their mark.

“We are making good progress in reducing levels of youth unemployment. Already this year, we are well on our way to achieving our annual target of seeing 25,000 new Modern Apprenticeship places created. I wish all this year’s winners well as they continue their career journeys.”

Skills Development Scotland Chief Executive Damien Yeates: “The Council’s achievement shows the drive and determination to succeed that apprentices bring to the workplace and how employer commitment to Modern Apprenticeships is vital to help develop our workforces of the future.”

David Scott, Chief Executive of GTG Training, said: “Everyone at GTG Training has taken great pleasure in being part of this year’s Scottish Modern Apprenticeship Awards. Wherever businesses and organisations have had the foresight and determination to employ a Modern Apprentice, and wherever a Modern Apprentice has committed to a specific career, it is important to recognise those contributions to Scotland’s economy and to the success of the employing organisation. Our heartiest congratulations to all the finalists and winners of these Awards, and our thanks to Skills Development Scotland for their contribution to employment generally and youth employment in particular.”

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