In collaboration with Skills Development Scotland, Aberdeenshire Council is to offer an additional 134 Foundation Apprenticeship opportunities for young people in S5 and S6 within its secondary schools from August.
Foundation Apprenticeships are designed to provide young people with real experiences of the world of work, whilst gaining a qualification at the same level as a Scottish Higher (SCQF Level 6). It usually counts as one option choice and is taken alongside other S5 and S6 subjects.
Assessment takes place as you go, so there’s no final exam, and time spent on placement gives technical workplace knowledge, and can help build confidence, communication and teamwork skills. This boost in opportunities equates to close to £1million in additional funding.
Cllr Gillian Owen, Chair of the Council’s Education and Children’s Services Committee commented: “This is an important boost in terms of preparing young people across Aberdeenshire for the world of work and supporting them to get a foot in the door with potential employers.
“We have already begun to promote additional opportunities to pupils across Aberdeenshire and are working towards having many more young people enrolled on apprenticeship programmes by the end of this year.”
Graeme Hendry, Skills Development Scotland National Manager – Development and Delivery for Foundation and Graduate Apprenticeships said: “Foundation Apprenticeships are closing the gap between the classroom and the workplace, with pupils seeing the benefits.
“Foundation Apprenticeships support a range of career pathways including Modern and Graduate Apprenticeships, work, college or university.
“Employers are telling us that pupils who have taken a Foundation Apprenticeship are more attractive candidates for apprenticeship jobs.”
Opportunities which will be available from August cover up to twelve different job types, including Engineering, Business, Accountancy, Financial Services, Digital Technology, Children and Young People, Health & Social Care and Scientific Technologies.
Vice Chair Cllr Mark Findlater added: “Opportunities to gain real work experience are extremely valuable for any young person, and Foundation Apprenticeships are particularly useful because they can tie this in with their school work and gain real recognition, from future employers as well as colleges and universities, for the learning journey they undertake.
“I’d encourage pupils and parents across Aberdeenshire to have a look into it and find out how this may benefit you.”
To find out about opportunities available in your area or if you’re an employer who’s keen to support Foundation Apprenticeships, please visit the SDS website at: www.apprenticeships.scot Pupils are also encouraged to discuss options with their guidance teacher.