Graham Simpson MSP visited Coca Cola’s East Kilbride plant to learn more about their apprenticeship programme to highlight Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2019.
Scottish Apprenticeship Week highlights the benefits apprenticeships bring to individuals, businesses and the economy. This year’s theme is ‘Skills for the Future’, recognising the importance of investing in the workforce. Co-ordinated by Skills Development Scotland (SDS), the campaign aims to encourage more employers to take on apprentices.
Coca Cola’s East Kilbride plant was established in 1964 and employs 155 people. The site has 4 manufacturing line and produces 16 million cases each year. Their apprenticeship scheme is a 4 year programme which received hundreds of applications this year for two apprentice positions. This highlights the great demand across Scotland for apprenticeships to gain experience in the workplace.
Graham Simpson MSP said: “I was delighted to meet with Coca-Cola apprentices and see first-hand their engagement with Coca -Cola’s apprenticeship programme. The opportunity that Coca-Cola has provided the young people I met is invaluable. This start in the workplace will be of great benefit for their future careers. I was inspired by the engagement of the apprentices with their work and colleagues and my visit highlighted the importance of encouraging increased apprenticeships across Scotland.
“We need to make vocational training part of the mainstream delivery of the school curriculum. The Scottish Conservatives have recently called for the SNP to ensure that foundation apprenticeships are a part of every single Scottish secondary school’s offer by 2020. There is considerable evidence that softening the divide between academic and work-based learning is key to a well performing modern economy. It is therefore extremely important for our economy and our students that all local authorities offer this real-world work experience”.