A series of events and activities took place throughout Fife as part of Scottish Apprenticeship Week, 5th to 9th March 2018. Fife Council, Skills Development Scotland and Fife College had the pleasure of hosting a Foundation Apprenticeships Showcase Event, which was held at St Columba's High School. We were delighted to be joined by Shirley-Anne Somerville, the Minister for Higher Education and Science.
The event brought together a number of Foundation Apprenticeship students from Inverkeithing, Woodmill, Balwearie, Auchmuty and St Columba's High Schools, and invited guests, including training providers and school staff, could share the students’ experiences so far. The frameworks represented by the students included: Engineering, Software Development, Scientific Technologies, Social Services Children and Young People and Financial Services.
Further and Higher Education Minister Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “Apprenticeships are life-changing opportunities – providing the chance, not only to work and earn, but also to achieve an industry recognised qualification to support future career ambitions. They are also a fantastic way for all employers in Scotland, regardless of size and sector, to develop their workforce and contribute to business and economic growth.”
A Foundation Apprenticeship is a two year learning programme and is delivered alongside a student's school timetable. The programmes are aimed at senior phase students and are the same as working at Higher Level, SCQF Level 6.
Lucinda McAllister, Service Manager Employability Services, Fife Council said, “This is another sign of successful partnership working; the contribution from industry is key in maximising opportunities, helping to deliver results, achieving qualifications, and creating positive routes for our young people. The apprenticeship vocational routes fit into school timetables where students have the opportunity to engage and connect with industry. This gives them a head start to their future careers, building on sector experience and knowledge that can lead straight into a job."
The apprenticeship programmes are funded by Skills Development Scotland, delivered in conjunction with Fife Council, Fife College, Developing the Young Workforce and Opportunities Fife partners and supported by local employers. The programmes give young people an opportunity to experience a real-life working environment, and achieving an industry recognised qualification.
Jan Thomson, Director of Business Development, Fife College, said, “We are delighted to be offering wider choices, skills and training to our young people in Fife through the Foundation Apprenticeship programme. Working in partnership with Fife Council this initiative enables us to provide an excellent stepping stone for fifth and sixth-year school pupils on to career paths across a number of industry sectors enabling them to achieve a valuable work-based qualification alongside fantastic skills.
“This programme is part of Fife College’s ongoing commitment to improving our school college partnership to ensure our young people gain the skills that employers need and value today and for the future.”
Elaine Walls, Skills Development Scotland Regional Manager for Foundation and Graduate Level Apprenticeships said, "SDS recognises the work being done in Fife to provide a high standard of work-based learning through the Foundation Apprenticeship. The ambition they have for young people in this area is exciting and seeing the young people engaging so positively is fantastic. They are learning skills employers need and developing meaningful work experience in key sectors. A Foundation Apprenticeship is something every young person can benefit from.”