Apprentices hold the key to success

Connor Richardson
Connor Richardson

Employers across the district are being encouraged to think about the future and the potential boost to their businesses offered by apprentices.

Skills Development Scotland wants to work with bosses to recruit 25,000 new Modern Apprentices, matching the number trained last year in more than 80 occupations.

The third Scottish Apprenticeship Week gets underway on Monday and organisers hope firms will see the benefits young workers can bring to both them and Scotland’s economy, while giving people the opportunity to “earn while they learn”.

Falkirk teenager Connor Richardson is urging others to get involved after discovering the benefits of training.

The 19-year-old switched careers from joinery to mechanical engineering and is now halfway through his Modern Apprenticeship with the British Geological Survey’s marine operations and engineering division at Loanhead, near Edinburgh.

The skilled team works on projects around the world, from coring and drilling operations to geophysical surveys and seabed sampling.

Connor said: “When I left Falkirk High School, I got a job as a joiner but it wasn’t for me. I have always been interested in engineering so was delighted to be taken on by BGS.”

He began his four year apprenticeship in March 2012 and attends Forth Valley College one day a week.

Dave Smith of BGS said: “Our industry desperately needs qualified engineers and investing in apprentices, through initiatives like SDS’s Modern Apprenticeship programme, is one of the ways to address this shortfall.”

For more information about what Modern Apprenticeships can do for businesses visit or call the helpline on 0800 783 6000.

To find out how to become a Modern Apprentice visit