Tag Archives: east lothian works

Scottish Apprenticeship Week: An Interview with a Modern Apprentice

As you may have seen, this week is Scottish Apprenticeship Week #ScotAppWeek20, led by Skills Development Scotland. This campaign aims to highlight the fact that there’s no limit to where an apprenticeship can take you; it creates talent without limits!

Today I sat down with Annabel, a Modern Apprentice in Business and Admin in the East Lothian Council Human Resources department, to as her a couple of questions.

What did you do before your Modern Apprenticeship?
When I left school I knew that I really wanted to go to Australia for a while because I have family that stay over there, so I worked part-time after school in a café to save up as much as I could. Once I was in Australia I wasn’t really sure what I was going to be doing when I came home, so I had a look online and I saw that there was a Modern Apprenticeship with the Council, and it seemed like a really good opportunity. Even if there is no job at the end, it can really help set you up for a job later on.

Why did you decide to do a Modern Apprenticeship?
In school I studied Admin and Business at Higher, which I enjoyed, and since it had been such a long time since I had been in school, I thought this apprenticeship might help jog my memory a bit! It’s also a really good qualification to have along with Higher Business and Higher Admin.

Why did you choose Business and Admin specifically?
Business at school really appealed to me because that’s where my head is at. Some people have a brain that all about maths, mine is all about business!

How did you find the apprenticeship at the beginning?
I thought it was going to be really stressful trying to balance learning and the job. When I first started the previous Modern Apprentice was just about to leave, so I had a crash course! It was overwhelming at first, but everyone is so helpful. I thought it was going to be stressful but it’s actually not and I really enjoy working here.

Is it hard to juggle the work and the learning together?
Sometimes yes, because when it gets to stressful points in the year when there are lots of deadlines it can be difficult to set time aside. But everyone I work with is so helpful and if I have work that needs done they’ll make sure I have time to do it.

Was HR something you were interested in going into?
I was actually just assigned the Human Resources department but actually I’m really glad I was!

Do you know what you want to do when you’ve finished your Modern Apprenticeship?
I’ve only got two modules left to go so I’ll be done around April-time. I had a meeting with my Manager the other day and we’re both really keen for me to get a job in the Council, or in HR more so, because I really enjoy the job I do.

What are the positives of doing a Modern Apprenticeship?
The qualification. And the support they give you. My boss has already told me that she’ll help me do mock interviews and help me apply for jobs, which will help me a lot.

What are the hard parts about doing a Modern Apprenticeship in Business and Admin?
It’s a lot of work. I would say that you have to be that way inclined. It’s a lot of written work and it’s very evidence-based, so you have to be motivated for a lot of written work.

Would you recommend a Modern Apprenticeship to other people?
Yes I would. It’s a really good starting point, so if you’re unsure about going to university and you aren’t sure what else you want to do, then a Modern Apprenticeship is a good choice, as it’s not as much pressure.

I would like to extend a huge thank you to Annabel for taking the time out of her busy schedule to talk to me and discuss the Modern Apprenticeship programme. I wish her all the best in her future endeavours after April!

If you’d like to find out more about Scottish Apprenticeship Week, please take a look at the #ScotAppWeek20 hash tag on Twitter. If you’d like to find out more about Modern Apprenticeships, check out the link below:

https://www.apprenticeships.scot/become-an-apprentice/modern-apprenticeships/

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Ceilidh dancing for esol students

On Monday night a group of our ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) learners, along with their tutors, took to the dance floor for a truly Scottish night. Attendees were accompanied by an accordionist, and learnt a selection of traditional Scottish ceilidh dances in order to celebrate St. Andrew’s Day (30th of November).

Three ESOL classes joined in the merriment, with a mixture of dancing, clapping, and spectating taking place. It was a fantastic night, with fun had by all!

If you’re interested in our ESOL programme, please contact East Lothian Works on:

Email: elworks@eastlothian.gov.uk
Tel: 01620 827 262

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Foundation Apprenticeship Interview with a Scientific Technologies Student

Today we are speaking to Emma, a Scientific Technologies Foundation Apprenticeship student, in order to learn about her experiences on the programme. This is part of a series on this blog in which we meet with Foundation Apprenticeship students on all five of the frameworks on offer in East Lothian to find out more about this opportunity.

Continue reading Foundation Apprenticeship Interview with a Scientific Technologies Student

Foundation Apprenticeship Interview with Business Skills Students

Today we are speaking to two students, Sarah and Lewis, who are currently undertaking the Foundation Apprenticeship in Business Skills, in order to learn about their experiences on the programme. This is part of a series on this blog in which we meet with Foundation Apprenticeship students on all five of the frameworks on offer in East Lothian to find out more about the opportunity.

Continue reading Foundation Apprenticeship Interview with Business Skills Students

A Day with the Pre-Voc Cooking Course

I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to spend some time at East Lothian Works’ Cookery Courses. These classes run as part of the Pre-Vocational programme, giving secondary school students the opportunity to learn new skills and perhaps find a passion for a certain career. Students undertaking the cookery course get the opportunity to practice their cooking and baking skills, learn about health and safety in the workplace, and learn about where food comes from and how it can be used from professionals in the field.

The first class I visited consisted of students from Musselburgh Grammar, Ross High School, and Preston Lodge. They were at Edinburgh College on this occasion, attending a seminar on food health and safety. The class themselves were an incredible bunch; really lively and interested in what they were learning about. The students were from different schools, but they had all formed strong relationships as a result of this course.

Students learning about food health and safety.

The second group I visited were spending the day at Musselburgh Grammar in the kitchens learning how to cook multiple courses at once; it smelt incredible! This class consisted of students from Preston Lodge, Knox Academy, and North Berwick High School. Once again, this class were fantastic, getting stuck in and producing some amazing results. I was incredibly impressed with the work being done.

A student in the Cookery class making soup.

The cookery course offers students the chance to learn new skills that will be useful in a career in the culinary arts, and also in their daily lives. I would like to thank the teachers and students for allowing me into their class. I would also like to extend a thank you to Edinburgh College, Musselburgh Grammar School, and Knox Academy for providing us with use of their kitchens for this course.

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Paddle Boarding Trip

Today’s post focuses on Matthew, one of the young people we work with at East Lothian Works. He has recently completed his Activity Agreement with the Transitions Team, and has since successfully moved on to a Positive Destination.

Matthew has engaged in several activities and courses, and as a result he has learnt many valuable skills, such as good time keeping, reliability, team working, and confidence. The final activity Matthew participated in with his Employment Support Worker Steve Nelson, was to spend an afternoon learning to Stand Up Paddle, which involved reliability, confidence, trust, and listening to and following instructions. But it also involved a great deal of fun!

We wish Matthew all the best for the future as he moves on to a college course (Professional Cookery). Watch this space for the next celebrity chef!

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Staff Spotlight: an interview with Anne Mercer and Liliana

For this week’s Staff Spotlight, I sat down with Anne Mercer, a Volunteer Tutor with East Lothian’s Adult Literacy team, as well as ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages). I also met with Liliana, a learner who is working with Anne to improve her English. The Staff Spotlight series aims to promote the hard work that the Adult Services team in East Lothian Works do, and to show the impact they have on the community.

Continue reading Staff Spotlight: an interview with Anne Mercer and Liliana

East Lothian Works and SOSSTA’s Sea-Going Course

Today’s blog post will be focusing on the sea-going training course run by SOSSTA and East Lothian Works. This course covers four accredited SQA units at Level 2, and one voluntary unit. It gives young people the opportunity to introduce themselves to a range of careers within the seagoing industry, such as sea fishing, boat hospitality, engineering, and the Navy. The course itself covers:

  • Basic stability
  • Firefighting
  • Sea survival
  • First aid
  • Health and safety

Young people learning about the sea-going industry is really important in East Lothian, as being near the coast is such a huge part of the Local Authority’s tourism industry and economy.

We asked a student who had participated in the course what they thought:

What made you decide to take part in the Sea-Going course?
I thought it might be good for helping me with some of my jobs, and it would be quite good on my CV.

How did you find the experience?
I thought it was quite good to learn about the things that this course covers.

What was your favourite part about the course?
Probably learning about what you would have to do if you abandoned ship.

What are you doing now?
Going on tall ships, and doing surf lifesaving club.

Individuals wishing to take part in this course must be between the ages of 16 and 21, and cannot be in education, training, or employment. They must be a resident of East Lothian, have a genuine interest in the sea-going industry as a career, and must be committed to undertaking practical and classroom based learning.

If you would like to find out more, contact Connie McLaren – cmclaren1@eastlothian.gov.uk – or Kathleen Renton – krenton@eastlothian.gov.uk – or telephone 01620 827 262.

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