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

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 who are taking MA pathways in bakery and meat and poultry processing. "Last year, there were just 15 MA starts in food and drink manufacturing firms in Scotland," said Improve CEO Jack Matthews. "This year’s funding covers 656 starters, 417 of which will be adult apprentice places."