It is time to lift the bar with apprenticeships from Scottish



With new modern apprenticeships, Scottish companies short of trained employees have now sponsored

Most of 2020 has been invested by Companies of all sizes around Scotland adjusting to the requirements of a rapidly evolving economy. This has meant reflecting on the capabilities of their employees for many employers to ensure they are well positioned to address demands and pursue new opportunities.

Scottish apprenticeships may help businesses fulfill their own needs for expertise, whether it is attracting new talent or improving their current workforce’s skills. One such firm, Kelso-based Scotmas, is investing in its skills to adapt to market changes.

To help the growth of the business, the disinfection specialist has recruited 10 new apprentices.

This summer, via the Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund (PERF), the company obtained a grant from South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE), enabling it to retool and adapt its business to meet the increasing demand for highly effective disinfectants.

The 10 new jobs that resulted from the investment were all filled by people who had recently been laid off from the area. In order to provide new hires with two years of advanced training in chemistry, technology and formulation techniques, Scotmas is now partnering with Forth Valley College.

The certification, established in collaboration with industry last year with the help of Skills Development Scotland (SDS), will enable new hires to acquire specialist skills and expertise whilst obtaining vital on-the-job experience.

Thanks to the company’s latest investment, trainees will benefit from new distance learning instruments and a bespoke training suite with full video conferencing and team room capabilities.

Thanks to the new technology, we have been able to partner with Forth Valley College to provide world-class SQA-accredited training to our workers right on site,” said Alistair Cameron, CEO at Scotmas.”

Our workforce’s dedication to meeting the needs of customers such as the NHS and social care providers has been first class, particularly over the past six months. We have a duty at Scotmas to ensure that they have access to opportunities for their careers to learn and improve. Support for South of Scotland Enterprise and its partners has been crucial in helping us change and retool our business and build these new jobs at a critical time for the economy of South of Scotland.

With team members such as apprentice Lukasz Wojcik taking on crucial positions during the pandemic, the organization has a proud track record of investing in the capabilities of its employees.

In healthcare facilities around the world, including Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow, the 36-year-old field engineer has maintained water distribution systems. He said, “My apprenticeship was a fantastic opportunity for me to develop and learn new skills while pursuing paid employment.”

“It was a very rewarding experience professionally and an opportunity for me to help NHS staff and patients.”

Investing in the workforce is crucial for companies and the wider economy as it recovers from Covid-19, according to Ronnie Palin, industry manager for life sciences and chemistry at SDS.

In order for Scottish life sciences and chemical companies to remain competitive and profitable, access to a highly skilled workforce is crucial,” he said.”

“This new training is already helping individuals and companies like Scotmas and shows how SDS, working with industry, education providers and agency partners, can help the sector attract and retain the talent it needs.”

SOSE Chairman Professor Russel Griggs OBE said, “This is a great example of how we, Team South of Scotland, work with Skills Development Scotland and other key partners to open up opportunities like this at a time when they are most needed by our region and communities.”

We launched South of Scotland on April 1 as the new enterprise agency and since then, among other items, we have given more than £ 12 million of support for South of Scotland.


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