Modern Apprenticeships are a great way to train and learn while you're working. Apprenticeships can start from when you're 16 and enable you to get practical experience while earning. You'll also work towards an SVQ, at level 2, 3 or 4, depending on the type of apprenticeship you're doing.
There are two types of apprenticeship: a Foundation Apprenticeship and a Modern Apprenticeship. Foundation Apprenticeships are a brand new apprenticeship for pupils moving into S5 who want to get a head-start in their career. Students spend part of the week out of school, getting hands-on experience at college. They also work on real projects with a local employer, and at the same time they’re studying towards an industry-recognised qualification alongside their other subjects.
A Modern Apprenticeship is a job where you can earn and learn at the same time. Apprentices get practical work experience as part of a highly structured training programme, and at the same time they work towards a qualification that will really boost their careers.
There are plenty of MAs to choose from including Engineering, Bioscience, Business Administration, Financial Services, Early Years Education, and even Rural Skills. Apprentices learn and develop their skills in two ways; learning from their more experienced colleagues while on-the-job, and through attendance at a college or approved private training provider (PTP) for off-the-job training (for example Engineering MAs trainees attend a college or a PTP for 26 weeks in their first year).
Skills Development Scotland has more information on MAs on their Apprenticeships.scot website, including including the latest MA vacancies and advise and information on apprenticeships from the apprentices themselves. Or you can visit My World of Work for more information.
"The thing I enjoy most about the Foundation Apprenticeship is that you're allowed to be in a different environment. You're in college, you can be more independent but work with your peers at the same time. The practical skills are enjoyable because you're able to see something at the end of it. You've started this project and at the end of it there's a finished piece."
"At the very start I was asked to make a presentation, to people who were 5 to 10 years older than me. It seemed like the scariest thing I’ve ever done. Over the apprenticeship I’ve met lots of new people and grown in confidence. I guess it’s that confidence that helps you complete your apprenticeship."
"I've been given a lot of opportunities to grow in confidence. I’ve not just gained a diploma, I’ve also gained a qualification in Windows 7 and in Cisco.
Through a Modern Apprenticeship I completed a Diploma for Information Technology and Telecommunications Professionals. Now I’m finished my apprenticeship, and have a full-time job as an IT analyst with Standard Life."
For more real life apprentices' stories, click here.
This week saw the report of the Scottish Parliament Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee inquiry into the gender pay gap. The report No Small Change: The economic potential of closing the pay gap makes 45 recommendations, to Scottish Government, its agencies, and employers, that aim to tackle women’s inequality at work.