Erin Duffy has described how a successful apprenticeship has given her the perfect start to a colourful career in painting and decorating.

Erin’s achievements are being highlighted alongside other apprentices as part of Scottish Apprenticeship Week which takes place this week (2 to 6 March). 

The theme this year is Talent Without Limits, celebrating the diversity that makes Scottish Apprenticeships good for individuals, employers and the economy. 

Erin (20) progressed through a Modern Apprenticeship with local housing association Kingdom which she was able to apply for after studying for two years at Fife College.

Erin, from Cowdenbeath, said: “I studied Construction Futures at Fife College and that’s where I found that painting and decorating was for me.

“I then did an NPA (National Progression Award) in painting and decorating. Once that was done, I started looking for an apprenticeship and the one with Kingdom looked to be the best for me.”

After completing her Modern Apprenticeship Erin has went on to get a full-time role with Kingdom.  Erin said: “They’ve been really great all the way through my apprenticeship and I find it’s a brilliant place to work. They’re so supportive and they give me everything I need.

“They’ve also given me the chance to do more training on top of my apprenticeship; extra courses like health and safety on-site and scaffolding courses. I’d like to progress in my career, and initially I’d love to do that here.”

Erin would like to see more females join her in the construction industry. She added:

“I’d love to see more females in construction – there were only two of us when I started college. I feel that the industry nowadays is far more open and accepting of females.

"Here at Kingdom I’m totally accepted and all of the tradesmen that I work with treat me like any other apprentice. I’d definitely recommend the industry for females.”

Andy Walls, Property Maintenance Manager at Kingdom Housing, believes Erin’s approach to the job made her a standout on their apprenticeship programme. 

Andy said: “Erin really was the top candidate on the apprenticeship programme we have been running and easily became a top candidate.  She has shown great attitude and enthusiasm to do the job.”

Fife College’s partnership with Kingdom Housing has seen the association take on 10 apprentices who have gone on to help provide an excellent service for customers, organisations and the local community. 

Last year there were over 28,000 Modern Apprenticeship starts across a wide range of sectors in Scotland.

This includes Graduate Apprenticeships, which provide the opportunity to achieve qualification up to Master’s degree level whilst in paid employment.

There has also been a growth in opportunities for school pupils in the senior phase to take up a Foundation Apprenticeship as a subject alongside their Nationals and Highers.

Apprentices are employed across Scotland in a wide range of jobs in sectors including engineering, construction, financial and business services, health and social care, digital technology, tourism and food and drink.

To find out about apprenticeship opportunities in Fife visit our apprenticeship pages.