Keith Brown MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities, has visited Falkirk bus builder Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL).
Keith, a former Minister for Skills and Lifelong Learning, learned that across its UK manufacturing sites, ADL now has 80 young people involved in modern apprenticeships, many of whom are based at its principal manufacturing site in Falkirk.
Welcoming the Minister, Peter McAllister, ADL’s Operations Director at the Falkirk facility, explained that trainees are involved in a rolling, four-year programme of modern apprenticeships which can see them go on to work in manufacturing, quality, engineering, logistics, product development or a wide variety of other functions.
Peter said: “We are very aware that young people are the life-blood of the future and have been delighted with the support we receive consistently from the Scottish Government in order to pursue this business philosophy.
“As a company, we have extended our wings significantly in recent years with manufacturing operations and build alliances across the UK, in China, Malaysia, New Zealand and North America, all of which present exciting opportunities for young people interested in a career with limitless opportunities.”
Keith Brown, whose visit to ADL coincided with Scottish Apprenticeship Week, commented: “Alexander Dennis Ltd is a clear example of the way in which industry is helping us achieve our vision of 30,000 apprenticeship opportunities by 2020, while bringing benefits to its own business by investing in a skilled workforce for the future.
“The Scottish Government’s commitment to supporting bus services is clearly demonstrated by the roughly quarter of a billion pounds expended every year in Bus Service Operators Grant and the Concessionary Travel Scheme.
“A further £13m has been awarded through the Scottish Green Bus Fund, helping the bus industry invest in the latest emission reducing technology. Across the five rounds so far, ADL has provided 165 buses and, in doing so, offering the apprentices we have met here the opportunity to be involved in delivering a greener bus fleet for Scotland, as well as a vibrant exporting environment.”