FA to MA for Alisha and Alexander

Alexander McBroom FA to MA

FA to MA for Alisha and Alexander

A Foundation Apprenticeship course has helped two students to take their first tentative steps in a career in early learning and childcare.

Alisha McCallum (17) and Alexander McBroom (17), both former Bannockburn High School pupils, took the decision to study for a two year Foundation Apprenticeship in Social Services: Children and Young People, while still at school and their new qualification - which is the equivalent of two Highers – has landed them Modern Apprenticeship roles with Stirling Council.

Foundation Apprenticeships (FAs) are available at FVC in a range of subjects from Social Services and Healthcare to Children and Young People and from Business Skills to Engineering. They have been developed by SDS in partnership with employers, colleges and Sector Skills Councils to create stronger links between education and industry.

They combine academic learning with hands-on skills to develop the knowledge, skills and work experience that will help to broaden options for students, enabling them to go on to complete a Modern Apprenticeship (MA), attend college or university or go directly into employment. 

Alisha from Plean, said: “Making the decision to do my Foundation Apprenticeship in Childcare has benefited me by giving me the opportunity to do a Modern Apprenticeship with Stirling Council  in a local nursery for the next two years. I would have never managed to get this opportunity if I had not chosen to study my Foundation Apprenticeship at Forth Valley College.

“Doing this course has opened so many doors and opportunities for me that I did not expect to have at the age of 17. The course has given me a future and a profession that I love and now a job that I am looking forward to attending for the first time in mid-August.

“I am absolutely over the moon and excited to start working for Stirling Council. It's something that I didn't think I would have had the opportunity to do at such a young age, but clearly it is possible. I will be working as Early Childhood Educator whilst completing my SVQ Level 3 in Childcare twice a month, at a college in Glasgow. Working in the nursery full-time will give me more skills, experience and build my strengths, which I am looking forward to.”

Alexander from Stirling, said: “FVC has helped me a lot while progressing in my career. The Foundation Apprenticeship was a first step to becoming a qualified practitioner. It gave me the confidence and motivational skills to become ready for my Modern Apprenticeship. Having a three-day placement in a nursery, allowed me to come to the conclusion very early on, that this was what I wanted to do. Completing units in my course has also benefited me, as it has given me a head start.

“I have known I wanted to do a Modern Apprenticeship since starting my Foundation Apprenticeship. I am extremely excited to start my new chapter in my career in August and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. My role as a MA will be: Enabling all children in the nursery to develop to their full potential. It will also help me to support the creation of a warm, caring environment in which each child feels secure, respected and valued in her/his own right and which will promote equality of opportunity for all.  I will also be able to ensure safety, security and standards and procedures are maintained in accordance with Stirling Council procedures.

“I would recommend Foundation Apprenticeships to anyone. You gain amazing extra experience while still doing your school exams. The ability to go out to a workplace and get more experience than anywhere else, while still attaining a qualification equivalent to two Highers is great as well. I also made new friends from other schools that you wouldn’t have been able to do before and that is also a great part of studying. The Foundation Apprenticeship has many pathways. You can also use the FA experience for applications to university, college and gaining good experience to write in personal statements and job applications.”

Cllr Susan McGill, Convener of the Children and Young People Committee at Stirling Council said: “Congratulations go to Alisha and Alexander who have benefited from the excellent quality of learning and education provided by Forth Valley College.

“We are delighted to welcome them on board and look forward to helping them continue their journey in learning how we look after our children and young people from across Stirling.

“This is just one of the many essential services delivered by Stirling Council and there is a sense of pride in seeing enthusiastic young learners step forward from our own community to help deliver that work. We wish Alisha and Alexander, and all modern apprentices, all the best for the future.”

Barbara Johnstone, FVC Early Learning and Childcare Lecturer, said: “Both Alexander and Alisha have done incredibly well during their FA and have worked tirelessly throughout. They were fully supported by Bannockburn Primary and Nursery to give them the workplace experience needed. Lockdown did not stop their enthusiasm to complete their course and I’m delighted that they have both secured a Modern apprenticeship with Stirling Council.”

The innovative frameworks are based on the success of existing MA qualifications. Pupils will embark on the programmes in S5 with the duration varying depending on the subject area. Pupils will spend time undertaking hands-on learning at college and with a training provider and also benefit from high quality work experience with local employers such as the Stirling and Clackmannanshire Councils, the Prudential and other local business partners.

For more information on Foundation Apprenticeships at FVC and the application process, please contact schools.co-ordinator@forthvalley.ac.uk  or visit https://www.forthvalley.ac.uk/ways-to-study/foundation-apprenticeships/


Alisha McCallum FA to MA


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