I was fortunate enough to be granted the opportunity to visit East Lothian Council’s very own IT department. This section of the council focuses on providing technical support for all areas of the public sector in the local authority, such as fixing computer issues in schools, as well as ensuring all information is kept secure and cannot be hacked into. IT is a significant part of the curriculum for the Foundation Apprenticeship in Business Skills, and therefore this seemed to be the perfect opportunity to have a look at what the students may get up to. Continue reading A Morning with East Lothian Council’s IT Department
If you follow East Lothian Works on Twitter and Facebook (links at the bottom of this post), you may have seen that we are currently running a social media campaign that focuses on a different Foundation Apprenticeship each week. This week, we’re looking at the Social Services: Children and Young People course. Have a read below to find our more about this framework. Continue reading The Foundation Apprenticeship in Social Services: Children and Young People
The Foundation Apprenticeship in Social Services: Children and Young People is one of the most popular frameworks that we provide in East Lothian. It offers students the chance to gain an understanding of childcare, while also gaining real-world experience of working with young people. There may be some Foundation Apprenticeship students wondering where it can take them. There may also be some pupils considering undertaking it, and are unsure of what it will involve. To help find out more, I was lucky enough to get to spend the morning at ABC Nursery to see what their staff members get up to on a typical day. Continue reading A Morning at Argyle Bridge Children’s Nursery
Jennifer, a Foundation Apprentice in Financial Services, was kind enough to sit down with me and answer my many questions about her experiences over the past year studying Financial Services. Foundation Apprenticeships allow secondary school students in S4 to S6 gain experience in a work environment while they are still attending school. They can work towards an industry recognised qualification, undergoing a mix of traditional classroom teaching, and real-world workplace experiences. If you’d like to find out more, check out our blog post on Foundation Apprenticeships here.
What made you decide to apply for a Foundation Apprenticeship?
I was interested in what they had to offer. In fourth year I did work experience at Standard Life, which is a financial organisation, and I wanted to know more about it. When they were going through all the courses at college there were lots of choices, like cookery, but financial services caught my eye, because I wanted to get to know more about it, and I’ve actually really enjoyed it. I didn’t know anything about Financial Services before my week of work experience, but I ended up being interested enough to study it further.
Why did you choose Financial Services?
I thought it would give me a good career path, as I think this might be something I want to get into and know more about it. I was really intrigued to find out more, as I did my work experience, but I didn’t fully understand everything they were talking about. Now I think that if I went back I would be able to have a conversation with them and engage more with the work.
How have you found doing a Foundation Apprenticeship?
It’s really good. First year focuses on the theory side of financial services, but it’s not all classroom based. We’ve been to the Museum on the Mound and Black Rock (a corporate business), and we’ve had speakers in to tell us what they’re experiences are in the field.
What has been your favourite part?
I’ve liked being able to meet new people that have the same interest as me.
What has been the most difficult part?
There’s not really been any difficult parts. When I made a mistake I took it in my stride and made it better. Everyone makes mistakes so you just need to learn from it. You won’t get it first time as it’s all new, so the providers aren’t expecting you to know everything.
Did you enjoy doing the placement? Where did you go for it?
I’ve finished my first eight week block of placements at Social Investment Scotland. It’s been really good to put your knowledge that you learn in first year to the test. You’re part of a team in a business and being handed real life work that this organisation is giving you, so you’re really trusted. It’s good to know what you’ll be going out to do after sixth year, so it’s good to have the opportunity to practice before you go and do it yourself.
Would you recommend a Foundation Apprenticeship to other students?
I would recommend a Foundation Apprenticeship as you learn the knowledge and then get to put it to the test.
What advice would you give to anyone about to do a Foundation Apprenticeship?
Stick with it; you get good opportunities from it, so if you’re engaged properly, then you’ll get the satisfaction and the rewards.
Do you know what you want to do when you leave school?
This Foundation Apprenticeship has given me so many opportunities to put me on the right path. if I hadn’t done the Foundation Apprenticeship and you had asked me this question, I would say that I didn’t know what I wanted to do. There’s lots of opportunities that have come from this, e.g. the Investment 2020 Programme. If I put in enough effort then maybe Social Investments will keep me on, or I could go on to do a Modern Apprenticeship.
How does doing a Foundation Apprenticeship help you reach those goals?
Foundation Apprenticeships have given me more knowledge of the sector as a whole, as you don’t have to just do finance; you could also do business marketing, for example.
I would like to take the time to thank Jennifer for speaking with me – it is greatly appreciated. I wish her the best of luck with the rest of her studies. If you’re interested in undertaking a Foundation Apprenticeship, speak to your guidance teacher for advice and/or an application form. Feel free to send any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Throughout this blog, you’ll likely hear the term ‘Foundation Apprenticeship’ come up a lot, and you may wonder, ‘what on earth is a Foundation Apprenticeship? If that’s the case, then this is the post for you, so keep reading to learn all about the wonderful world of Foundation Apprenticeships in East Lothian!
Foundation Apprenticeships allow Secondary School students in S4 to S6 gain experience in a work environment while they are still attending school. They can work towards an industry recognised qualification, undergoing a mix of traditional classroom teaching, and real-world workplace experiences. At the end of the apprenticeship, students can gain an award at SCQF Level 6 – the equivalent to a Higher – which can be beneficial when applying for college, university, employment, further training, or for a Modern Apprenticeship. They are particularly beneficial as they allow students to gain invaluable experience in the workplace, something that employers are actively seeking at the moment.
Foundation Apprenticeships are two year programmes, starting in either S4 or S5. In East Lothian, they are available in a range of subjects:
- Financial Services – Students gain an understanding of the processes required to succeed in the financial sector by enhancing personal finance awareness, business finance, and customer relationship skills.
- Social Services: Children and Young People – Students learn the skills required for a career in childcare and social services through learning about the safeguarding of children, as well as how to develop and play with young people.
- Scientific Technologies – Students gain an understanding of science theories and learn about the fundamentals of science. They also have the opportunity to carry out scientific tests within a laboratory setting.
Excitingly, starting next year, we have three new apprenticeships that may be added to the roster:
- Social Services and Healthcare – Students gain an overview of social services, safeguarding young people, communication in care, as well as human development and social influences.
- Business Skills – Students are provided with the opportunity to learn about management and business priorities, such as IT software, managing people and finance, contemporary business issues, and performance management.
- Accountancy – Students gain an understanding and overview of recording financial information and book keeping, indirect tax, analysing accounting information, and management accounting.
Foundation Apprenticeships can help young people gain confidence, due to experiencing a new environment with new people, and perhaps finding a real passion for the subject. They can also gain essential experience of being in a workplace, which is greatly beneficial when it comes to applying for jobs in the near future. The students on Foundation Apprenticeships gain close links with local employers, forming good relationships with those who contribute to the local economy and community.
So what now? If this sounds of interest to you as a student, speak to your guidance teacher for more information and an application form, or if you have any questions, email email@example.com. We will be posting regular content about Foundation Apprenticeships on this space, so make sure to keep checking in for more news and information.
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