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starting an apprenticeship in Scotland27th March 2012, 14:30
Scotland is a great place to study because it is home to many fine academic institutions.
Home to some of the UK’s most beautiful scenery, Scotland has a rich history and metropolitan cities to rival those found in any other modern country in the Western world.
If you’re thinking about starting an apprenticeship in Scotland, there are some things you should know about the country, not least the fact that it has falling levels of unemployment and has lower living costs, in general, than many other parts of great Britain. Here’s a look at some of these kind of things to help you make a decision about taking an apprenticeship in Scotland.
A Great Place to live and work
According to the Scottish government, of the four countries that comprise the united kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and northern ireland), Scotland has the highest employment rate. the country’s employment figures have been steadily on the up since the mid-1990’s and reached almost 75 per cent in 2007. Even in the last quarter (April to June) of 2011, the Scottish employment rate was 71.9, which was the highest of all four countries in the uk.
All those employed people in Scotland work in a diverse range of industries, from manufacturing and banking to electronics and tourism. Scotland is home to more than 200 companies on the electronics sector, with new and developing technologies continuing to shape the country’s labour market.
In financial services, Scotland can claim to be the fifth largest centre for financial services in Europe, with the sector accounting for around 7 per cent of the country’s gDP – amounting to around £7 billion. over the last five years, the sector has created somewhere in the region of 65,000 jobs. in Scotland and today, around one in ten people are employed in the financial services like banking, insurance and investments.
The energy sector is also a big part of the Scottish labour market, given the country’s proximity to the oil and gas fields of the north Sea. Power generation and sustainable energy research are also shaping the labour market in Scotland and employers include the likes of Exxon, Mobil, BP, Shell and Schlumberger, making the country something of an energy industry hub. As such, the industry provides jobs for around 145,000 skilled people in Scotland.
Beyond the world of work, Scotland’s miles of open countryside make it an attractive place to live – so too do its relatively low costs of living and property prices (depending on where you are in Scotland). Despite being a largely rural country, public transport is of a good standard and many towns and cities are a commutable distance from centres of business and industry.
Scotland has it all: beautiful scenery, growing cities and inquisitive cows
Though employment figures in Scotland have been particularly good over the years, the country has been hit with recession as badly as the rest of the uk. unemployment figures for the quarter from June to August 2011 rose by 7,000, according to office for national Statistics (onS) figures.
the Scottish unemployment rate of 7.9 per cent was still below the uk average of 8.1 per cent, but the number of people without a job rose to 212,000 in the three months to August in 2011.
Looking at the wider picture, beyond Scotland, almost 2,000 apprentices have been made redundant over the last two years. Data published by the government agency Skills Development Scotland (SDS) showed that 1,915 people on modern apprenticeships lost their jobs.
Also, while it’s nice to have your space and some great scenery, much of Scotland is very rural and you may feel a little disconnected from the hustle and bustle if you’re not accustomed to countryside living. While there might be the benefit of relatively low living costs in the countryside, you have to factor in the cost and trouble of commuting to and from your place of work.
By contrast, life in some of Scotland’s more metropolitan cities like Edinburgh have higher costs of living associated with them, like property prices, rent and other costs. in August, house prices in Scotland also fell in value by a greater degree than properties in England and Wales. According to the Department for communities and Local government, Scottish house prices fell by 1.5 per cent in August.
You have to remember that although unemployment has gone up in Scotland recently, the country has generally always had better employment figures than the rest of the country, and a degree of the increased jobless figures could be attributed to public sector cuts in the latter half of 2011.
There is an awful lot of big industry in Scotland, and some great growth industries like renewable energies, so if you’re looking for somewhere where you’ll stand a good job of getting a job after you finish your apprenticeship, Scotland certainly appears to be a viable choice.