This week is Scottish Apprenticeship Week, an annual celebration of the positive impact work-based learning has on individuals, companies and the Scottish economy as a whole. Donald McLaughlin, Chair of the Digital Skills Technology Group tells us why tech companies need to embrace on the job training and development. As we are all acutely aware, there is a significant skills gap in the digital technology sector with more than 13,000 career opportunities available in the industry every year, and growing every year. Apprenticeships are, without doubt, one of the best ways of filling that tech talent pipeline. With this in mind, Skills Development Scotland has developed 12 digital technology apprenticeship frameworks all of which have been designed by employers for employers. They are directly aligned to the needs of the technology sector and are responsive to the industry’s evolving requirements. As employees of your business, Modern and Graduate Apprentices will be adding value from day one, as they put their learning into practice right away, solving problems on real world projects to help your business while they work towards industry recognised qualifications . They offer flexible, tailored training designed to meet your business needs which can help attract or even upskill your existing workforce, while improving productivity, staff morale and the quality of your service. Recent research into MAs showed that 83% of employers reported improved productivity, and 79% reported improved staff morale. And 96% of employers would recommend apprenticeships to other employers. The apprenticeship journey can even begin in school, as Foundation Apprenticeships provide work-based learning opportunities for secondary school pupils making their senior phase choices. They gain a qualification which is the equivalent of a Higher and is recognised by all Scottish universities and colleges, while also gaining invaluable experience in the workplace. This is a great way for employers to tap into future talent. All SDS apprenticeships are aligned with areas of industry growth like cyber security, data analytics and software development. This year’s theme for Apprenticeship Week is #TalentWithoutLimits to celebrate the diversity that makes work-based learning so attractive to employees and employers alike, which explains why every year more than 12,000 Scottish businesses employ apprentices. We need more tech companies to be part of that growing number. I believe the technology sector more than any other could really benefit from embracing the opportunities offered by apprenticeships, so please get in touch with SDS or visit or Digital World to find out how a technology apprentice could help your business.