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Scots move to protect construction apprentices

Construction apprentices in Scotland have won a cash injection designed to safeguard their jobs for the foreseeable future.

Small and medium-size employers in the construction, engineering and manufacturing industries will receive £75 a week for each apprentice until March 31 2010, Scottish education secretary Fiona Hyslop has announced.

“The Scottish Government fully recognises the challenges that have been faced by Scottish businesses in recent months,” she said.

“I also know that many small firms have had to balance the need to keep their heads above water with the desire to continue to develop staff skills for the future.

“I firmly believe that in order to ensure that our economy continues to be competitive in a global market over the next few years we need to invest now in people who can develop the skills that we will need in the future.”

The initiative was welcomed by Federation of Small Businesses’ Scottish policy convener Andy Willox.

He said: “The value of apprentices to individual businesses, as demonstrated by FSB research, is enormous - for example filling skills gaps and motivating other members of staff.”

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