Ken with Dean Lockhart MSP
Foundation Apprenticeships to the fore for Dean's visit
Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, Dean Lockhart, visited Forth Valley College’s Stirling Campus today (09/03/18) on a Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2018 fact-finding trip.
He was welcomed on the day by FVC Principal Dr Ken Thomson, Fiona Brown FVC Vice Principal and Dylan White, Regional Partnership & Deliver Manager for Skills Development Scotland (SDS).
Organised by SDS the visit allowed Mr Lockhart – Conservative MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife - to find out more about Foundation Apprenticeships (FA), meet some of the students and tour the facilities.
The visit focussed mainly on the staff and students in the Clinical Skills Suite who were demonstrating using equipment such as hoists, showing off First Aid techniques and working on their SVQ/NPA folders in breakout areas.
Mr Lockhart, said: “It was great to visit Forth Valley College today here in Stirling and see first-hand the fantastic facilities. The innovative approaches to delivering apprenticeships undertaken by the college, are genuinely impressive and will help to transform the perception of apprenticeships as a way into the workplace.
“Apprenticeships aren’t just for traditional trades – and today I had the opportunity to chat directly to the staff and also the students studying health and social care in the Clinical Skills suite and it was interesting to hear their experiences of Foundation Apprenticeships from their perspective.
“Being able to gain real-world work experience can transform a pupil’s career prospects. Foundation Apprenticeships allow pupils to spend a part of their school week gaining hands-on experience and can lead directly to a full time job.
“It is important to continue to rebalance our educational system, with greater emphasis on vocational education and more choice for pupils. The expansion of Foundation Apprenticeships across Scotland will make sure these opportunities are available to pupils in all corners of the country.’’
Dr Ken Thomson, Principal of Forth Valley College, said: “We were delighted to welcome Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, Dean Lockhart, to our college and to show off how we are Making Learning Work for our students and the communities we serve. We are very proud of our Foundation Apprenticeship programme and we were happy that Mr Lockhart got to meet some of our Social Services and Healthcare students and see the types of things they learn here at the Stirling Campus.”
Grant McDougall, Skills Development Scotland Head of Operations for the South East said: "Across the area, many employers, young people and their parents are backing apprenticeships.
“Apprenticeships and work-based learning boost productivity, service quality and staff morale.
“There’s no better time to find out about how apprenticeships could bring benefits to your business, or about the career pathways they can provide to young people.
“Visit apprenticeships.scot or a Skills Development Scotland centre to find out more.”
These innovative programmes, being offered in partnership with Falkirk, Stirling and Clackmannanshire schools, will link senior school pupils with local employers and aims to help them to build their future careers. Upon completion of a Foundation Apprenticeship pupils can progress onto a Modern Apprenticeship, college study or a university degree.
In academic year 2018-2019, Foundation Apprenticeships will be available at FVC in Social Services and Healthcare; Social Services Children and Young People; Business Skills; IT Hardware System Support ; Engineering; Accountancy; Civil Engineering; Creative and Digital Media; Food and Drink Operations; and Scientific Technologies (Laboratory Skills). All are due to start in August 2018 and applications went live for the FA courses in January 2018.
Foundation Apprenticeships have been developed by SDS in partnership with employers, colleges and Sector Skills Councils to create stronger links between education and industry.
Students involved included: Kerys Buchanan (1st year), Caitlin Evans (1st year), Leigh Harrower (1st year), Keira McNeill (1st year), Rebecca Denise Whitelaw (1st year), Hadika Abbid (2nd year), Olivia Aitken (2nd year), Hazel Bovill (2nd year), Aimee Forsyth (2nd year), Lucy Jamieson (2nd year), Sam Johnston (2nd year), Rebecca Main (2nd year), Amy Lauren Oakes (2nd year), Nadia Shafaq (2nd year).