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Glasgow's Financial, Drink And Arts Sectors In The Spotlight

6th March 2024

Photograph of Glasgow's Financial, Drink And Arts Sectors In The Spotlight

Apprenticeships, spirits and culture were on the agenda as UK Government Minister for Scotland John Lamont embarked on a series of stakeholder engagements.

To mark the start of Scottish Apprenticeship Week (Monday March 4, 2024), Minister Lamont dropped in to multinational financial corporation JPMorgan Chase & Co in Glasgow to meet with apprentices and hear about the firm's work.

JPMorgan has had a presence in Glasgow for almost 25 years and employs 2,600 people in Scotland. It currently has 55 graduate apprentices working at its technology centre in Glasgow's financial services district.

In 2019 the company began partnering with the University of Strathclyde to offer a Master of Science Cyber Security apprenticeship, aimed at upskilling current colleagues and allowing them to specialise in this field. Apprentices are also encouraged to participate in industry talks, events and conferences and are part of a world-wide apprentice network with links to communities from New York to Singapore.

Minister Lamont said, "Meeting young apprentices starting out on fabulous careers in IT in the financial services sector was fascinating, and underscores the critical importance of STEM subjects in schools.

At Courageous Spirits, the Minister learned about the brand’s flagship product, Glaswegin Premium Gin, launched in 2018 by company founder Andy McGeoch. Courageous also launched their first bottling of their King’s Inch Single Malt Scotch Whisky in 2021.

On the agenda was UK Government support, which in 2023 helped Courageous start exporting into Canada.

Minister Lamont said, "Glaswegin is a huge success story being driven - alongside King’s Inch single malt - to new heights on the domestic and export drinks markets with an innovative new base right in the heart of the city.

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (formerly the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama) was the next stop as the Minister heard about its contribution to levelling up in Glasgow.

Founded in 1847, it has become the busiest performing arts venue in Scotland with over 500 public performances each year.

Minister Lamont said, "It was remarkable to see the breadth of work of the Conservatoire, nurturing talent across the performing arts from music and dance to acting and production skills.

The Minister with Mark Napier, Head of the Glasgow Technology Centre at JPMorgan Chase & Co, far left, and apprentices Freya Barclay, Greg Bell, Fatima Bari, Angus Henderson, and Anna Solek.