Apprentices - the aces of tomorrow

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Local employer GSK has taken part enthusiastically in Scottish Apprenticeship Week, currently running, as it ‘grows its own staff’.

GSK regards this as one of the great benefits of the Modern Apprenticeship programme.

And GSK bosses urge other firms to follow their lead.

Engineering team manager Mel Robertson, a former apprentice himself, explained: “The pharmaceutical industry requires quite specialist skills and we need to have properly trained staff, integrating with our ways of working, from day one.

“The company has always recognised the importance of encouraging young people and developing the skills of our existing employees as we prepare for the future.”

He added: “Our Modern Apprenticeship programme, with the support of Skills Development Scotland, allows us to ensure our workforce gets the best training possible.”

Grant Forsyth (19), Montrose, jumped at the chance of an engineering Modern Apprenticeship with GlaxoSmithKline.

Grant explained: “I’ve always been interested in engineering and, by doing a Modern Apprenticeship, you get the chance to work towards a qualification while you are actually doing the job.

“I’ve been lucky enough to work on some interesting community projects too, including the restoration of the local RNLI lifeboat station’s weather vane.”

Skills Development Scotland Chair John McClelland said: “The main aims of Scottish Apprenticeship Week are to show employers the tangible benefits that Modern Apprentices can bring to their businesses as well as giving people a vital start in their careers. I hope this week will encourage employers in Angus to offer more apprenticeship opportunities, because of the benefits apprenticeships bring to individuals, their employers’ businesses and ultimately Scotland’s economy.”