MARCH 4 to 8 is Scottish Apprenticeship Week, the annual campaign to showcase and raise awareness of the benefits apprenticeships can bring to individuals, businesses and the economy.

To help mark the week, I visited Macmerry-based steel and aluminium structure design and fabrication company Had-Fab to meet some of its apprentices.

The theme for apprenticeship week this year is ‘Skills for the Future’, recognising the importance of investing in the workforce, and it was clear that this is very much at the heart of Had-Fab’s enthusiastic support for apprenticeships.

The firm’s managing director was clear that the engineering apprenticeships it provides are an essential part of securing the right mix of skills needed to sustain and develop the business. As well as chatting to some of the company’s current apprentices about their experiences, I also met a couple of former apprentices. Having completed their apprenticeships, they have been able to secure more senior roles within the firm, demonstrating the potential for career development for apprentices.

Apprenticeship Week is organised by Skills Development Scotland (SDS), which does a great job promoting work-based learning. SDS is keen to spread the word that apprenticeship opportunities in Scotland are growing across a range of different sectors and workplaces.

Local authorities are among the many employers that have embraced modern apprenticeships. East Lothian Council has been particularly active in creating new apprenticeship roles. It has been celebrating the different types of apprenticeships on offer locally and recognising the contribution of some of its apprentices throughout the week.

Find out more about Scottish Apprenticeship Week and apprenticeships at