Additional funding has been agreed to try and increase the number of adult apprentices in Scotland in areas such as bakery.

The move follows consultation between sector skills council Improve and Skills Development Scotland (SDS), and will see 400 adult apprentice places offered at food and drink companies. It follows the Scottish government’s decision to remove age restrictions on funding for Modern Apprenticeships (MAs).

SDS has agreed to make £750,000 available in the current financial year to fund training costs for those aged 20 or over taking MA pathways in bakery and meat and poultry processing.

“Last year, there were just 15 MA starts in food and drink manufacturing companies in Scotland,” said Improve chief executive Jack Matthews. “This year’s funding settlement covers 656 starters, of which 417 will be adult apprentice places.”