The SNP recognises that there needs to be more support for people undertaking apprenticeships, particularly those that require further financial help from the government.
Social security is currently a reserved issue so the SNP has no power to ensure that those undertaking apprenticeships are better supported whilst undertaking their apprenticeship.
However, current UK government guidance states that in terms of universal credit (which is replacing the tax credit system) and apprenticeships, those who are on a recognised apprenticeship are able to claim universal credit. However, in terms of those still on the tax credit system this is more complicated. The SNP is working hard to rectify this as well as to extend support for those claiming universal credit.
However, the UK government’s appalling approach to Brexit has meant that most other domestic issues that need review have stalled. However, we in the SNP are working to ensure that such issues are still addressed even whilst the Tory party is only focused on Brexit.
One such way that the SNP is helping to support those on apprenticeships is through a campaign run by my colleague David Linden. His campaign urges the UK government to end wage discrimination by ensuring that there is a national living wage for all ages and employment types, which includes apprenticeships. This would ensure that those on apprenticeships have a better standard of living by taking home a bigger pay packet.
The SNP Scottish Government is taking action on this, even though it is a reserved matter. They have launched the Living Wage accreditation scheme which has ensured that over 1000 employers now pay a real living w3age in Scotland There are plans to make sure that a further 25,000 people benefit from this scheme within the next three years as well.