A record number of early years apprenticeships are expected to start this year as part of the expansion of free nursery and childcare, Deputy First Minister John Swinney has said.
The Scottish Government is almost doubling funded childcare from 600 to 1,140 hours by 2020, backed by £243 million in the 2018-19 draft budget alone.
The number of early learning and childcare modern apprenticeships has already increased by 22% over the past five years. That figure is set to rise even further following a £1,000 increase in the contribution offered to employers – with Edinburgh City Council already planning to treble its apprenticeships from 30 to 90 this year.
In addition, the number of foundation apprenticeships, which gives young people work experience while still at school, are expected to more than double to more than 700.
Visiting the Cowgate Nursery in Edinburgh, Mr Swinney said:
“I want to give every child in Scotland the best start in life, regardless of their background, and our expansion of free early learning and childcare will do just that.
“As well as transforming the choices and chances of children, this policy will save families thousands of pounds in fees every year and further benefit the wider economy through the creation of thousands of new jobs.
“This government is investing an extra £54.3 million this year alone to expand and upskill the early learning and childcare workforce, including through increasing the number of apprenticeships and our national recruitment campaign.”
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