Modern apprentices and store representatives are pictured above in the Scottish Parliament, where they attended a special reception to highlight the achievements of the modern apprenticeship scheme.
Motherwell and Wishaw MSP John Pentland said:
“I am delighted that Sandra, Neil and Cameron were able to attend the reception held in the Scottish Parliament to highlight the success of the modern apprenticeship programme that is being run by Asda. They are great examples of the commitment that young people have to the scheme and the progress that they can achieve. They have now completed their apprenticeships, but I’m glad to say that Asda will continue to be involved, providing opportunities for more young people.
“The modern apprenticeship scheme was developed and expanded by Labour, and we have campaigned to ensure that the Scottish Government remains committed to the scheme. In the current economic climate, with youth unemployment on the rise, we need to create as many opportunities as possible for young people to acquire and build on their skills.”
It was recently announced that Motherwell was one of the most difficult places in the UK for job hunters, with 22 registered jobseekers for every vacancy. Long term youth unemployment figures have also risen dramatically over the last year. In North Lanarkshire, there are now over five times as many young people out of work for more than a year.
John Pentland said:
“We know that long periods of unemployment scar young people for life. Those affected will be at the back of the queue for jobs when the economy gets better and they simply cannot afford to wait. I know that North Lanarkshire Council is actively tackling the problem, but the youth unemployment figures suggest that the support from the Scottish Government is simply not enough to address the increasing scale of the problem. We need more modern apprenticeships and a national Jobs Guarantee scheme like the Future Jobs Fund.”