ANGUS Training Group, based in Catherine Street, Arbroath, is bursting at the seams with a record intake for engineering modern apprenticeships.
Director Alan Swankie said that the numbers have passed all expectations for the current year. In March he indicated that there was likely to be a 20 per cent rise in apprenticeships for 2012/13. However, his figure has been blown out of the water with a 50 per cent increase.
Mr Swankie commented: “This is our busiest period for 30 years. Our intake now stands at an encouraging 67, with apprentices coming from as far afield as Paisley and Peterhead.
“Local businesses are also benefiting as 14 of these apprentices lodge in bed and breakfast establishments in the town from Monday to Friday.”
First signs are very encouraging from the current batch of apprentices who have now completed their third week of training. They will spend their first year at Angus Training Group followed by three years with their employer to complete their apprenticeship.
Mr Swankie went on: “The standard of applications and quality of applicants is improving year by year. This can only be good for the industry as more and more school leavers are looking at the apprenticeship route rather than an academic one.
“Modern apprenticeships are a great way to progress within engineering and many former apprentices hold very high positions in the sector.”
Angus South MSP Graeme Dey commented: “These figures demonstrate clearly both the success of the Angus Training Group and the Scottish Government’s Modern Apprenticeship Scheme. It is good that more and more youngsters are recognising the merits of going down the apprenticeship route and pleasing to see Angus becoming a hub for training engineering apprentices from across Scotland.
“Obviously my particular interest is in seeing local youngsters taking advantage of this opportunity but I’m delighted to learn that we also have apprentices coming to Arbroath from the west and north-east of the country.”
Dean of the Arbroath Guildry Ian Lamb stated: In these difficult times it is encouraging to see so many engineering firms investing in the future through their apprentices.
“The fact that Angus Training Group has such a major intake of apprentices - all of them already employed - demonstrates a healthy confidence for the future in the engineering industry and underlines what a great facility Angus Training Group provides in Arbroath.”