The energy industry in the UK is facing a skills shortage, with predictions showing that around half of employees working in the sector will have retired by 2023.
The warning comes from energy giant SSE, which believes it will take around 208,000 new recruits to bridge the skills gap.
Speaking to the Herald Scotland, John Stewart - human resources director for SSE - said: "Apprenticeships put young people on track for a first-rate career and with around 50 per cent of the sector's workforce set to retire by 2023, there is a need to invest now.
"We're boosting our apprentice numbers by 20 per cent, investing £11.68m - an average of £80,000 per trainee - to recruit and train the workforce of the future.
"Research we've carried out tells us for every £1 we spend on our apprenticeship programme the net economic impact on society is £4.29."
SSE's apprenticeship scheme allows apprentices to build a series of invaluable energy skills through performing tasks such as maintaining power lines, working in hydro stations, thermal plants and wind farms, and ensuring commercial and domestic electrical systems are in working order.
The firm is encouraging more energy companies to roll out apprenticeship schemes to provide the youth of today the opportunity to gain important skills that will help to shape their future careers.
Virtual College has a huge range of tools and resources for apprenticeship providers to enhance learner engagement and support the learner journey. Learn more about the apprenticeship support we offer: http://www.virtual-college.co.uk/e-academies/Apprenticeship.aspx