Congrats—the big day is here!
Now that the results are in, there’s lots to think about (not to mention mum and dad asking constantly what you’re doing in September).
Feeling overwhelmed by career decision stress? Not to worry—we’ll help you get your #FutureSorted. Here’s the top 5 reasons to consider an apprenticeship as your next career step!
- Get paid to learn
If you’re dreaming of a great career but the prospect of £50,800 of average uni debt sounds scary, we have good news. As an apprentice, you’ll earn a salary and pass the finish line totally debt-free—armed with in-demand skills and a foot in the door at the likes of companies like ASOS, BBC, Vodafone or O2.
- Launch into exciting career prospects
Tech is the fastest-growing industry in the world, and career prospects are skyrocketing. You could work anywhere—from an edgy startup to a multinational company—in exciting roles like software developer, digital marketer or IT support technician. 92% of our apprentices complete their programmes with a job already waiting. And with average tech industry salaries at £40k, there’s never been a better time to join the industry.
- Learn in an ultra-modern blended format
At QA, we deliver our apprenticeship programmes through a blended approach to help you get the most out of your learning. You’ll learn in the classroom, online and on the job—actively applying what you’ve learned through real work projects for your employer and building an impressive portfolio to show off your skills.
- Find a programme that’s perfect for you
At QA, we’re a welcoming place for techies and non-techies alike. We offer a wide range of tech apprenticeships—from IT Technician to Software Developer to Cyber Defender. But businesses aren’t built on technology alone, so our Digital Marketer, Project Manager and Business Administrator programmes will get you trained up in other super-in-demand skills.
- Take your learning as far as you want
An apprenticeship doesn’t mean giving up your education. With QA, you can take your learning as far as you want: to a real university degree (England and Wales) or nationally-recognized qualification (Scotland). There’s also lots of career progression opportunities—if you finish your programme and are keen to keep going, you can jump up to the next apprenticeship level.
Apply for an apprenticeship today!
So don’t stress—get your #FutureSorted and join a community of over 10,000 QA apprentices taking their next career steps. Apply Now and hope to see you on the other side.
Young entrepreneur launches local Cupar based digital media agency, ‘Creative Cause’, two years after completing his Apprenticeship in Business Enterprise.
Liam Howard  of Dunfermline was one of the first of four young Scots to complete an Apprenticeship in Business Enterprise during the 2013-14 pilot of the programme. The Level 3 Diploma in Business Enterprise qualification supported Liam in developing the enterprising capacities, technical skills and confidence required to start his own business.
After a successful pilot, the Apprenticeship in Business Enterprise was completed by a further 17 young Fifers as part of Fife Council’s Culture of Enterprise initiative.
As part of the qualification, apprentices were required to plan, pitch and develop a new business opportunity. Two years post completion, Liam’s vision has now become a reality after launching his own digital media agency ‘Creative Cause’ on Thursday 24th November.
Liam was joined for the launch by seven S6 pupils from Bell Baxter High School, all of whom have an interest in pursuing a career in the creative industry and business enterprise sectors. He was able to share his entrepreneurial journey, provide advice and offer technical expertise to the group during a practical afternoon.
Speaking about his journey from apprentice to entrepreneur at the launch, Liam said:
“I feel like I’ve come a long way since starting my apprenticeship in 2013 and am extremely lucky to have been given amazing support and encouragement; this has allowed me to develop into someone with a professional skill-set and ambition.
“My apprenticeship gave me the opportunity to see my own potential and I am very excited to launch Creative Cause today.”
Creative Cause has been launched as part of Career Studio (Scotland) Ltd, an established media and publishing business, which has operated in the education, skills and youth recruitment sectors since 2007. The new business will specialise in the development, design and production of media that makes a
Creative Cause can support any size of digital project from multi-format print, web and video production projects as part of complex communications plans to small one-off promotional artwork. Additionally, Creative Cause can work with local business’ as an outsource provider of digital media services with flexible outsource arrangements to suit individual needs on offer.
To view Creative Cause’s portfolio work, or to speak with Liam about any upcoming projects he can help with, please visit www.creativecause.co.uk.
- Halloween originates from a Celtic Tradition called Samhain which is a festival that marked the end of the Celtic Calendar year in Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man. The people used to believe that this was the time of year that spirits or fairies could visit earth. To prevent this from happening Celts put out treats and food to keep them happy. Samhain is actually still around – Wiccans celebrate it as their New Year celebration. If you’ve ever seen the movie The Craft, they talk about this.
- Forms of Trick-or-Treating have been around since medieval times. It used to be called “Souling” or “guising” and it was when children and poor adults went around in costumes on Halloween begging for food and money in exchange for songs and prayers. It was brought to the USA by the Irish in the early 20th century, but became less popular during WWII when sugar was rationed. It became popular again in 1952.
- There’s A Reason Orange and Black Are Halloween Colours. We all associate orange and black with Halloween – it’s impossible to see that combination and NOT think of spooky things. Wondering why? Orange is associated with the fall harvest, and black is associated with darkness and death. Put them together, and you’ve got Halloween!
- Seeing a spider on Halloween means something. Don’t be scared if you see a spider on Halloween. According to legend, seeing a spider on Halloween means that the spirit of a loved one is watching over you. Okay, maybe that is a bit creepy! But it is also sweet.
- Samhainophobia Is A Fear Of Halloween. Halloween IS a pretty terrifying holiday when you really think about it, so it makes sense that there is a legitimate phobia for it. It’s called Samhainophobia, and thousands of people suffer from this irrational fear of Halloween.
There will be a special apprenticeships event in Dundee for students, parents and carers to find out about apprenticeship opportunities in the local area on Thursday September 29th.
The ‘Jobs, Skills and Apprenticeships Fair’ will take place at the Caird Hall and will include demonstrations from employers, as well as presentations from apprentices who will share their experiences of work-based learning.
Pupils from across the region will be at the event during the day and there will be a special session for parents and carers to find out further information regarding apprenticeships from 5 – 6pm.
The event has been organised through National skills agency Skills Development Scotland in partnership with Dundee City Council.
For further information regarding this event, please click here…
Another school year has passed, meaning another anxious wait for final exam results for those senior pupils who recently sat their exams. Some of you may be relying on certain grades to meet conditional offers from a University or College; others might still be unsure about what lies ahead. Whatever the result, please be aware that you still have lots of options! Perhaps your results aren’t as good as you would have hoped for, or you have had a change of heart and want to reconsider the route you want to go down. If this is the case, you might well be thinking, what next…
At Apprenticeships in Scotland, we are here to help you by providing you with information about an alternative career path – apprenticeships. Did you know that nearly 26,000 young Scots started a Modern Apprenticeship in 2015/16? Combined with this, thousands more have also joined National Apprenticeship schemes and traineeship programmes. There has never been a better time to consider an apprenticeship as your future career path!
What is an apprenticeship?
Apprenticeships are an excellent way of gaining qualifications and workplace experience. You can earn as you learn and gain practical skills from the workplace. An apprenticeship is a structured programme of training and experiences that result in NVQ/SVQs (National/Scottish Vocational Qualifications). Apprenticeships are typically aimed at 16-24 year olds however there are also opportunities available for those aged 24 and over.
How long does an apprenticeship last?
The length of an apprenticeship varies depending on: prior skills levels of the apprentice, the level of qualification being obtained and the industry sector. Typically, apprenticeships will take between one and four years to complete, however, unlike university you will earn while you learn and will gain your qualification debt free!
Types of apprenticeships available
There are many different types of apprenticeships available across a variety of sectors. There are of course the traditional apprenticeships where you will learn a trade such as joinery, plumbing or hairdressing. There are also apprenticeships in business, engineering, care, creative industries and many more. In fact, there are over 70 types of apprenticeships you can undertake in Scotland.
Why should I apply for an apprenticeship?
- Employers believe that qualified apprentices are 15% more employable than those with other qualifications
- After completing an apprenticeship, 85% will stay in employment, with 64% staying on with the same employer
- A third of all former apprentices had received a promotion within the first year of completing their apprentice, and three-quarters were given more responsibility in their job
- Universities and colleges value the skills and knowledge of former apprentices and are more than happy to offer them a place on a foundation degree or other higher level qualifications
- Once you have completed an apprenticeship, you can carry on working, maybe get a promotion or even go on to further education
- Earn a monthly income whilst gaining an industry recognised qualification
- Gain transferable skills that can be used in other jobs and industries
- Open yourself up to fantastic career prospects
- No fees to pay which means no debt
- Opportunity to experience new challenges
How do you apply for an Apprenticeship?
Our website allows you to browse by sector and location, making it easier for you to find your dream job. You can apply for jobs on our website, or you will be directed to the application process on another. It is important to remember when you are applying for jobs that you have read the job specification carefully, that way you can tailor your CV or application to highlight your skills are what the employer is looking for. Don’t forget to sign up to our website for all the latest opportunities in your area.
Top tips for writing a CV:
SELL YOURSELF – A CV is an opportunity to promote yourself to an employer so make sure you leave a lasting impression.
ORIGINALITY – Do not just send generic CV’s, this does not show dedication, commitment or carefulness. By tailoring your CV to suit each job individually you are showing the employer you are keen to pursue a career with their organisation specifically.
SHORT BUT SWEET – Keep your CV no longer than two pages, be brief but informative. Less is more!
ATTENTION TO DETAIL – This is the biggest thing employers look for. If you can’t send a CV with good grammar and punctuation, why should they employ you? Use spell/grammar checks and get someone else to double check it.
CONTACT DETAILS – Ensure your contact details are clear and visible as well as correct. This is the only way employers will be able to contact you, you don’t want to miss out on an opportunity.
Don’t have a CV? CLICK HERE for our CV template. When you are going for interview, CLICK HERE for advice and top tips on interview techniques and basics.
Top tips for results day:
- Stay positive
- Have a note of important contact numbers (e.g. UCAS, universities etc.)
- Don’t panic
- Remember it’s not the end of the world if you do not do as well as expected
- Have fun with your friends whatever the outcome
If you would like some advice then our team will be more than happy to answer any questions. You can give us a call on 01334 844 860 or alternatively you can tweet your questions to @App_in_Scotland or contact us via Facebook!
Useful numbers and links:
Skills Development Scotland (SDS) also has a free helpline offering advice, information and support for young people and their parents.
The helpline will be open from 8am to 8pm on 9 and 10 August and from 9am to 5pm until 17 August. The number to call is 0808 100 8000.
Help is available from qualified careers advisers who have unique access to information on UCAS course vacancies at UK colleges and universities, Confirmation and Clearing, advice about Modern or Foundation Apprenticeships, employment or volunteering.
You can find further information about your Scottish Qualifications Certificate here…
We wish you every success with whatever career path you choose!
Apprenticeships in Scotland are delighted to announce a new partnership with ePortfolio platform Ecordia, helping to bring this breakthrough service to the vocational training sector in Scotland.
In today’s modern training environment, technology is a key contributor to the successful delivery and quality assurance of apprenticeships and vocational training. Ecordia, originally established in 2005, is a leading service in the UK with hundreds of customers and thousands of successful candidate completions. The platform is one of the most proven systems available with over 10 years of ePortfolio experience.
Ecordia is software-as-a -service (SAAS) designed by the industry and is a one-stop shop for the management and delivery of ePortfolio and assessment of vocational qualifications. The Apprenticeships in Scotland team have been working with training providers and employers in Scotland since 2009, assisting with candidate attraction, sector attractiveness and careers information with 16-24 year olds. The partnership is natural strategic fit and will have a number of benefits for both companies.
According to Ronnie Davidson, the founder of Apprenticeships in Scotland:
“Ecordia stands out from the rest of the competition. The platform has a clean user interface and is simple to use on any web browser and mobile device through its App.
“There are extensive help videos and quick links to get users started, becoming expert very quickly. But the biggest advantage is the low cost of entry to use the platform. The only direct cost to the provider is the candidate licence fee which starts at just £10. We believe this is a significant price breakthrough for this level of service”
Ecordia Co-founder and Business Development Director Matthew Seldon said:
“Career Studio is known for its industry expertise and strength in service offering, so we are delighted to be working with them.
“For Ecordia this partnership provides excellent commercial support and opens up a new area where assessment centres can benefit from the most well-developed and cost effective ePortfolio solution available”.
Anyone interested can take advantage of a full access, no obligation 90-day free trial via this link.
For further information on the platform, please visit www.apprenticeshipsinscotland.com/ecordia
The Scottish government has reported a slight increase in the number of Modern Apprenticeships that were taken up in the last year. New research shows that the number of Modern Apprentices (MA) in training in 2015/16 has increased to 25,818, exceeding the Scottish Government’s annual target for the 5th year in a row.
Overall figures published by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) show that 196,626 people in Scotland have started an MA since 2007.
A deeper look at the figures shows that 79% of those currently enrolled on MAs are between 16 and 24 years of age, with the majority of apprentices being at SVQ Level 3 and above. The news will be a boost to Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who recently said over 5,000 more apprentices would be needed to bridge the country’s skills gap.
Speaking at BT in Edinburgh, where he met a number of modern apprentices, Employability Minister Jamie Hepburn said:
“Modern Apprentices make a real contribution to the Scottish economy, apprenticeships offer our young people better career prospects and have a positive impact on the businesses and industry, bringing value to both employers and the economy.
“It is fantastic that we have surpassed our target to deliver 25,500 modern apprenticeships this year, this will now increase to 26,000 for the year ahead and we are on course to achieve to 30,000 by 2020 and I have seen today at BT the success stories behind these figures. Meeting with engineering apprentices at BT shows that the completion of a MA is not only great for the individual but it is also makes a real difference to their employer.”
A young adult from Glasgow has told how knowing she had a place on an apprenticeship scheme gave her hope after being diagnosed with cancer.
In 2014, Rachael Wilson applied for Wheatley Group’s Modern Apprentice scheme. However, after being invited to the open day and interview for the housing, care and property management organisation’s apprenticeship programme, sadly, Rachael was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Rachael, 19, who is from Dennistoun in Glasgow, said: “It was heart breaking watching all my friends starting work and college when I knew I was about to start chemotherapy.
“But then Wheatley Group got in touch and asked if I would like them to keep me a place on the Modern Apprenticeship scheme for the following year – and this gave me hope.
“Throughout my treatment, Wheatley Group kept in touch and was very supportive, which made me eager to get better and start work.”
Rachael is now in remission and cancer-free and employed as a business administration Modern Apprentice at Wheatley Group’s head office in Glasgow city centre.
Her apprenticeship involves working within the Customer Service Excellence Team and her duties include covering reception, dealing with email and phone enquiries, providing admin support and minute-taking.
Her apprenticeship has had a life-changing impact.
Rachael said: “My Modern Apprenticeship has helped change my life, because after my treatment I was just sitting around doing nothing, and now I’m in an office, working with others, which I really enjoy.
“Completing my SVQ has helped me regain the confidence that I lost when I wasn’t well. The apprenticeship programme has helped me develop; I’m a confident individual now.”
When she finishes her apprenticeship Rachael would like to stay in the housing sector.
Rachel is one of 19 young people taking part in the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations’ (SFHA) Apprentice Challenge. The challenge sees young people from SFHA member housing associations and co-operatives from across Scotland taking part in the competition. They have created video diaries of their apprenticeships which will be presented at the SFHA’s annual conference on 1 and 2 June.
This is the third year of the federation’s award-winning challenge which aims to further consolidate the skills of the Modern Apprentices and highlight the role that apprenticeships play as a vital first step on the career ladder as well the importance of nurturing young workers in the housing sector.
Elaine Melrose, Wheatley Group’s executive director of resources, said: “Our apprenticeship programme is a great way of increasing opportunities for young people in our communities.
“Our ambition is to increase the number of apprenticeship places we can offer young people every year.
“Rachael is a fantastic addition to our team and I’m looking forward to her having a long and rewarding career with us.”
Mary Taylor, SFHA chief executive, added: “It is vital that our sector continues to support and encourage young people, and Wheatley Group’s Modern Apprenticeship scheme is an excellent example of this in practice.
“We know that the apprenticeships which our members provide have a very positive effect on young people who enter the sector. The impact that Rachael’s Modern Apprenticeship has had on her life is fantastic, and we wish her all the best for the challenge.”