Celebrating Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2022

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Celebrating Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2022

Pictured, from left, is former MA Allison MacSween with current apprentices Katrina Cockburn, Rachel McLaren, Roberta Jenkinson, Abigail McDevitt and Gemma Murray.

Current and former Inverclyde Council modern apprentices have joined forces to celebrate Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2022.

In 2021, the local authority recruited 29 new Modern Apprentices (MAs), while supporting a number of apprentices continuing with their learning.

At any one time, the council can have 30-35 MAs across various services.

To mark Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2022, some of the newest childcare apprentices and one former apprentice gathered at Glenpark Early Learning Centre in Greenock to encourage others to consider an apprenticeship.

Early years officer Allison, who works at Glenpark ELC, was one of 10 childcare MAs recruited in 2019/20 to support the 1,140 hours early years expansion and was successful in gaining full-time employment following completion of her apprenticeship last summer.

Allison, who is 46 and from Inverkip, said: “I previously worked as a classroom assistant before making the decision to apply for an apprenticeship.

“I always felt that apprenticeships were only for school leavers and was really pleased to be given this opportunity. It’s the best decision I made.”

To support the recent expansion of early years provision, the council successfully introduced childcare MAs resulting in 17 newly-qualified childcare apprentices securing permanent roles within local nurseries. A further seven apprentices recently started their training. 

Councillor Michael McCormick, Inverclyde Council’s convener of environment and regeneration said: “Our modern apprenticeship programme really is first class and provides a springboard into gainful employment through high-quality training, support and encouragement from council staff.

“It’s great that we are able to retain so many MAs on a full-time basis once they have completed their training but the programme is also hugely beneficial in setting people up for successful careers outwith the council or onto further their education in their chosen fields.

“Scottish Apprenticeship Week gives us an opportunity to highlight some of the many success stories here in Inverclyde and Allison’s is just one of them.

“I also hope Allison’s positive experience and those of so many others we’ve heard throughout this week will encourage others to apply for an apprenticeship when we launch the council’s 2022 programme later this year.”

MAs are hired to join a qualified team of people and receive high quality ‘on the job’ training and earn while also undertaking a nationally recognised qualification.

The council has apprentices in areas such as childcare, business administration, electrical engineering, joinery, and customer service across a variety of departments including finance, HSCP, environmental services, property services and education.

The local authority has also benefited from apprenticeships in other areas of the organisation with 14 MAs being successful in gaining full-time posts in areas including legal, waste management, schools technician and business administration.

There have also been successes outwith the council with two apprentices finding employment externally and one continuing with their qualification attainment by moving onto further education. 

Most apprenticeships take between one and four years to complete, depending on the level of vocational study and the vocational sector.

The council’s programme is only open to Inverclyde residents and although the focus is on providing opportunities for those aged 16-24, there are opportunities for those aged 25 and over.

Details of the apprenticeships the council will have on offer in 2022 will be advertised later this year via the council website, apprenticeships.scot and through partners such as Skills Development Scotland (SDS), the local jobcentre, West College Scotland, and Developing the Young Workforce.

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