“Securing an apprenticeship with a leading organisation means you'll receive an impressive start for your working life. A professional, well-structured training programme with designated support is crucial.” – wherewomenwork.com

The importance of apprenticeships is especially important in light of recently released figures suggesting that the number of women completing apprenticeships has fallen to the lowest level for seven years.

One apprentice determined to show the benefits of this vocational route to employment is Rebecca Porter, from Dunfermline. Rebecca is currently an Automotive Apprentice with Flear and Thomson Fiat in Dunfermline, following a career path she has always wanted to pursue.

“From a young age I always wanted to work with cars,” said Rebecca, “I’ve always helped my dad to work on cars. He’s not a mechanic himself but he has always done bits and bobs around cars and I got hooked that way.”

In order to secure a place on an apprenticeship in her sector, Rebecca studied full-time courses first. “I attended Fife College full-time for two years to gain qualifications and look for an apprenticeship. A recruiter then came into class and asked if anyone was interested in an apprenticeship with Flear and Thomson so I put myself forward and that was that.”

Studying at Fife College is a great way to boost your chances of landing an apprenticeship. Not only will you gain qualifications, skills, and experience that will make you a stronger candidate, but employers regularly contact the College to offer apprenticeships to our students.

Over her two years at the College, Rebecca studied IMI Award: Transport Maintenance IMI Level 1 and IMI Certificate: Transport Maintenance IMI Level 2 and enjoyed both courses: “My time at Fife College was really good – and really valuable."

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“The qualifications and skills I gained over the course of those two years were crucial to me getting onto the apprenticeship. I learned a lot over those two years and it really did set me up for the work I do now as an apprentice.”

Rebecca is now almost finished her apprenticeship and is looking forward to her next challenge.

“I think the apprenticeship has gone well so far,” she explained, “I enjoy the work, especially the challenge of it. Obviously there are times when things can be the same, but there’s always a point of difference.

“I’m still attending Fife College one day a week as part of my apprenticeship. This covers the theoretical side of the apprenticeship. I much prefer to be hands-on rather than tackle theory, but the theory does benefit the practical work.

“Once I’ve finished my apprenticeship and I’m fully qualified, my immediate plan is to continue as a mechanic. Longer term, though, I’d like to do factory maintenance work and work with big machinery. I’d have to do further study for this but there are lots of transferable skills from what I do now that I can take with me into this.”

Asked if she’d recommend the apprenticeship route to others, Rebecca is sure of her answer: “I’d definitely recommend apprenticeships to those interested in the automotive industry. It’s a great way to learn new things in a hands-on way which is always the best way, in my opinion.”

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