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MORE than 5800 people were supported by Skills Development Scotland’s careers information, advice and guidance services (CIAG) in Dumfries and Galloway the past year.

Between April 2011 and March 2012, 1348 people joined SDS’s national training programmes in Dumfries and Galloway. This includes 960 people starting a Modern Apprenticeship (MA) and 351 new starts on SDS’s Get Ready for Work, Training for Work, Targeted Pathways and Lifeskills programmes.

Publication of the figures coincides with the launch of a three-year corporate strategy by SDS, Scotland’s national skills body, which will see a modernised service use the latest technology, training and labour market research to ensure more people than ever before get the right support to help them build lasting careers.

Plans include more face-to-face careers advice for those furthest from the labour market and a commitment to fund at least 75,000 more Modern Apprentices over the next three years.

Marlene Crawford, SDS’s head of operations for the south-west, said: “We closely review our services to ensure they continue to respond to the changing demands of our clients and adequately meet their needs. Last year, this resulted in the development of our interactive online web service My World of Work that complements our existing face-to-face and telephone provision, and allows clients access to our services when, where and how they want them.”

She added: “SDS is also committed to strengthening pathways to employment for young people and to making sure the appropriate skills are available across a wide range of sectors in order to drive the Scottish economy.”

CIAG is among the core services SDS and its partners offer individuals. Young people, both still at school and those who have left, are offered careers information, advice and guidance, and adults looking to find work, those facing the threat of redundancy and those looking to advance their career can also benefit from SDS’s services.

If you are a business looking for further information on SDS’s range of initiatives – including the Modern Apprenticeship programme – or if you would like support, advice or information on taking on a trainee or someone recently made redundant, call the employers’ helpline on 0800 783 6000.

If you are looking for help to get in to work or training or need advice, call the careers helpline on 0800 917 8000.

For further information and to view the corporate strategy visit: or