The Scottish government announced a target of 26,000 Scottish Modern Apprenticeships across the country next year, during Scottish Apprenticeship Week.
Scottish Apprenticeship Week takes place between 29 February and 4 March, earlier in the year than England’s equivalent National Apprenticeship Week.
Cabinet secretary for Fair Work, Roseanna Cunningham, announced the target during an address to the SCDI Skills Summit marking the start of Scottish Apprenticeship Week.
It is a step towards the overall aim of 30,000 apprentices a year by 2020.
Cunningham said: “Modern Apprentices are key to delivering economic development and a strong economy [and they] form a significant part of our work to address youth employment.
“Over the past four years, the Scottish government has supported more than 101,000 Modern Apprenticeship starts – exceeding our ambitious target to deliver 25,000 Modern Apprenticeship opportunities in each year of the current parliament.”
There were 25,284 new Modern Apprenticeship starts in Scotland in 2014-15, and there are over 80 types, across hundreds of jobs.
John McClelland, chairman of Skills Development Scotland, which organises the annual Scottish Apprenticeship Week, said: “More employers see the benefits that apprentices bring to their businesses.
“Apprenticeships mean businesses can find the talent they need for the growth they want.”
Scottish Apprenticeship Week marks the contribution that apprenticeships make to businesses and the economy, across all of Scotland. It also highlights the success of apprentices.