Edinburgh GuaranteeThe Chief Executive of the City of Edinburgh Council, Sue Bruce, was joined by 50 young apprentices to mark the start of Scottish Apprenticeship Week.

She used the opportunity as a call to action, urging more companies in the capital to give school leavers the chance of joining them as apprentices.

The Council currently employs 70 apprentices in departments such as Health and Social Care and Library and Information Services.

Speaking at the event, Chief Executive Sue Bruce, said: “All school leavers throughout Edinburgh have the potential to become valued members of staff across a wide range of businesses and sectors, given the right opportunity and support.

“We have been very impressed with the quality of candidates seeking apprenticeships and those that we have taken on have already had a positive impact within the Council.

“I would like to appeal to companies to give our young people a chance and to consider taking on apprentices.  The recruitment process is simpler than many of them think and investment in young talent is vital in the development of any organisation.”

Every year hundreds of young people finish school with no employment, training or place in further education. This has a can have a very negative impact on the young people themselves, as well as the Scottish economy as a whole.

Usman, an 18 year old school leaver, found it very difficult to find employment and despite sending many job applications was told on each occasion that he didn’t have enough work experience. He was taken on as an apprentice in the Building and Planning Standards Department of The City of Edinburgh Council, which has given him the experience and confidence to progress in the world of work.

Usman said: “I was thrilled to finally get a chance to work and to prove myself in a real job. I’m learning new skills and doing real work, not just making tea for people! I enjoy it, I’m part of a team and I’ll get a qualification at the end of it”.

Council Leader, Andrew Burns also expressed his support for apprentice schemes. He said: “I think it is vital that young people are given the chance to reach their full potential, but sadly this isn’t always the reality. By continuing to provide apprentice placements and other opportunities for school leavers I hope that we will inspire other employers to do the same.”

Scottish Apprenticeship Week runs until 25 May.

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