Workshop helps to empower Apprentices

Workshop helps to empower Apprentices
FVSA Workshop

Modern Apprentices representatives at Forth Valley College were invited to a workshop recently to help empower them during their studies.

The initiative aims to foster student engagement and amplify the voices of apprentices, with the help from the Forth Valley Student Association, Engineering Curriculum Manager Des McCabe and the National Society of Apprentices.

The session, led by Ben Kinross from the National Society of Apprentices, brought together apprentices from various courses within the college. The primary objective was to facilitate a discussion about their dual roles as learners and employees and make them aware of what they are entitled to while at College.

The workshop adopted a two-fold approach, beginning with a focus on the significance of the apprentice voice at the local level, within the student association. As the conversation progressed, the goal was to gradually elevate the apprentice voice to the national level, encouraging their active involvement in their communities.

Katarzyna Slapek, FVSA Student Engagement Coordinator, said: “Listening to the opinions of apprentices during the workshop was particularly enlightening. This feedback provides valuable insights that can be used for reflection and the implementation of necessary changes. Follow-up actions will be taken to demonstrate ongoing support for the apprentice learners' voice, ensuring that their perspectives continue to shape the learning and working environment within the college.

“In conclusion, the workshop conducted by Ben Kinross was a pivotal step towards empowering apprentices, highlighting the importance of their voices and encouraging their active participation at both local and national levels. The commitment of the student association and the college to ongoing engagement and support ensures that apprentices' experiences will continue to play a crucial role in shaping the educational and professional landscape.”

Ben Kinross, from the National Society of Apprentices, said: “As part of NSoA programme of workshops FVSA very kindly hosted the apprentice voice event. The group started discussing their experiences at college and on site. Highlighting the important balance between learning from experienced trades people and getting a solid grounding in their work at college.

“One of the standout themes of the session was the value apprentices place on having the opportunity to connect with their peers in college. NSoA runs these workshops across Scotland and the rest of the UK and the way apprentices described feeling an active part of the college community at FVSA sadly isn’t felt everywhere we go.

“The group provided really valuable feedback to NSoA around access to mental health support for young people. Finishing off the session NSoA was happy to have three FVSA apprentices step up to take part in the NSoA Leadership team. This is a group of apprentices working across the UK to improve the experience of apprentices in their education, work and the communities they live in.”