Since we first started Scottish Apprenticeship Week in 2010 – it has really taken off with national skills agency ‘Skills Development Scotland’ taking it over and providing national leadership. There are a whole series of events in each local authority area. You can find out what Scottish Apprenticeship Week events are on in your area using the links below. But make sure you don’t miss out on what’s on elsewhere. Many of the best Apprenticeships in Scotland from some of the UK’s leading employers are not part of the Scottish Government’s Modern Apprenticeship Scheme. You’ll always find the best of the rest on Apprenticeships in Scotland. Sign up to Apprenticeships in Scotland.

What’s on where?

Scottish Apprenticeships Week 2017 in Aberdeen
Scottish Apprenticeships Week 2017 in Aberdeenshire
Scottish Apprenticeships Week 2017 in Angus
Scottish Apprenticeships Week 2017 in Argyll and Bute
Scottish Apprenticeships Week 2017 in Clackmannanshire
Scottish Apprenticeships Week 2017 in Dumfries and Galloway
Scottish Apprenticeships Week 2017 in Dundee
Scottish Apprenticeships Week 2017 in East Ayrshire
Scottish Apprenticeships Week 2017 in East Dunbartonshire
Scottish Apprenticeships Week 2017 in East Lothian
Scottish Apprenticeships Week 2017 in East Renfrewshire
Scottish Apprenticeships Week 2017 in Edinburgh
Scottish Apprenticeships Week 2017 in Falkirk
Scottish Apprenticeships Week 2017 in Fife
Scottish Apprenticeships Week 2017 in Glasgow
Scottish Apprenticeships Week 2017 in Highland
Scottish Apprenticeships Week 2017 in Inverclyde
Scottish Apprenticeships Week 2017 in Midlothian
Scottish Apprenticeships Week 2017 in Moray
Scottish Apprenticeships Week 2017 in North Ayrshire
Scottish Apprenticeships Week 2017 in North Lanarkshire
Scottish Apprenticeships Week 2017 in Orkney
Scottish Apprenticeships Week 2017 in Outer Hebrides

Scottish Apprenticeships Week 2017 in Perth & Kinross
Scottish Apprenticeships Week 2017 in Renfrewshire
Scottish Apprenticeships Week 2017 in Scottish Borders
Scottish Apprenticeships Week 2017 in Shetland
Scottish Apprenticeships Week 2017 in South Ayrshire
Scottish Apprenticeships Week 2017 in South Lanarkshire
Scottish Apprenticeships Week 2017 in Stirling
Scottish Apprenticeships Week 2017 in West Dunbartonshire
Scottish Apprenticeships Week 2017 in West Lothian

Comments Off on RBS Top Tips for Applying Online

RBS Top Tips for Applying Online

Posted by | 16th September 2015 | Across Scotland, Employers, Financial Services, Information, Uncategorized

Applying Online

There is a short online application form to complete initially which is designed to capture your motivation for applying to one of our programmes. You will be asked to fill in some key contact and educational information too.

  • Tailor your application to RBS and show us you’ve thought about why you’re interested in the bank and why the business area you’ve applied to is right for you. Find out as much as possible about our culture, values and People Standards. A good test is if you were to cover up the name of the bank on the site, could you guess it was RBS you were talking about?
  • Use this website and, if you can, come to careers events and talk to people from the area you’re interested in. Have you checked out our Facebook pages, Twitter feed or LinkedIn employer profiles?
  • Use the research preparation stage to find details of the programme – what it involves, the sorts of projects you might get involved with, level of responsibility, development opportunities, teams your will be working with etc.
  • Compare the selection criteria with your own academic record. To increase your chances of being successful, make sure you match most the requirements of the programme.
  • When you’re completing the form, be sure to include the correct dates – and don’t leave any gaps.
  • Try and print or save a copy – it will be useful to remind yourself of what you have written as you progress through the process.


Situational judgement test
After you’ve submitted the first section of your application form, you’ll be directed to complete a test presenting you with real work situations. There are no right or wrong answers; we want to see if you share our values. The test has 15 different scenarios and should take around 30 minutes to complete.

Top Tips

  • Don’t spend too much time thinking about the ‘right’ answer. If you don’t answer honestly, you could find yourself working in an environment that doesn’t suit you.
  • Try to find a quiet place where you can complete the test in one go, with no interruptions.


Comments Off on How to get your first job and build the career you want

How to get your first job and build the career you want

Posted by | 6th August 2015 | Across Scotland, Apprentice, Apprenticeship News, Information, Jobs, Uncategorized

Calling all 16-24 year olds: there IS work there if you are prepared to work hard for it!- Angela Middleton, founder and owner of award winning recruitment agency reveals that there is an abundance of jobs available for young people in the UK. In her new book, How to Get Your First Job and Build the Career You want’ Angela shows the reader the steps they must take if they want to guarantee employment in their dream job.

There are more ‘hidden’ vacancies than there are visible vacancies and recruiters, we see them emerge all day every day from a variety of sources. For example, large companies that run programmes for young people put in place extremely stringent selection criteria and, as a result, they often cannot fill their allocation. What they then do, right at the last minute, is loosen those criteria, and suddenly where there were no vacancies, they reappear!

With smaller companies – companies with fewer than 100 or so staff – they tend to be under great pressure because they are growing and you often find that managers have several sets of responsibilities. In these companies they are often desperate to share the load with new entrants, however they never get round to advertising for these roles because they are too busy. It’s only when someone with drive and enthusiasm presents themselves that the company owner will suddenly decide that yes they would like to take that person on, and suddenly there is a vacancy no one knew about. Sometimes these roles aren’t ‘proper’ roles at first; they are called things like work experience placements, traineeships or internships – but I very rarely, if ever, see a situation where the young person is good and shines and yet doesn’t get taken on permanently.

Another source of hidden vacancies is for graduates. Many grads believe that they have to go in via a grad scheme. So often we see this is not the case. They can enter into an entry level position, even a temp position, and then once in, prove they are good enough and get switched to the grad scheme. Temp positions via agencies are a good source too. Often we see people take a quite mundane temp role just to get some money and experience, and then once in the job they are the first to find out about a potential new vacancy and they get it before it’s advertised. Or they shine in their temp role and it’s made permanent and they start working their way up.

Interviews for one job can turn into interviews for several other different roles. Again we often see this where two people go for a role and the employer decides to take both on. These are just a few examples of hidden jobs. I am sure you will be surprised to know that between 2011 and 2014 we placed over 1,000 16–19-year-olds into companies where before we suggested the idea to the employer, there was no vacancy!

When I speak to year 11s, 12s, 13s or even grads in their first year, I always emphasise a key message; “It’s never too soon to be seeking your first job.” Just because you have another couple of years of A levels or degree study ahead of you does not mean it’s not essential to achieve a great work experience or internship placement over the holidays to set you up for getting a great job when you do actually leave school or college or university. If you are in this situation you do indeed have a bright future but that future is much closer than you think! By getting a relevant placement while on holiday you demonstrate your work ethic and industry interest to an employer very early on, and this can sometimes shortcut the job-seeking process when you leave and save you from having to start from scratch competing with the crowds who are job seeking after the leaving dates and everything becomes a lot harder.

Remember – it’s never too late! It’s amazing how many young people I meet aged 23–24 and even younger who feel they are written off and have missed the boat for all the best jobs. Absolute nonsense! We see people all the time who are disillusioned because they have done a series of dead end jobs and cannot seem to start a career. Well, if we look at it in perspective, even those people have around 50 years of working life left, and once you put it like that it really makes little difference if you are 21 or 24. The important thing is to recognise where you are and what you have to do to get where you want to be. Usually the answer to that is to get more relevant work experience and also to achieve more qualifications. This all takes time but this is crucially important, right? Therefore what could be more important? Education and study should really be a lifetime commitment; I see people who have had several careers during their lives and have trained for them all separately at different stages. So committing to some more qualifications and training at this point is imperative if it’s needed. The same goes for unpaid work experience if that is missing.

Timing is often seen as an issue, but in the UK it’s not, as the Government is very well aware of the importance of developing skills for young people and introducing them to the labour market no matter what the state of the economy. If there is a recession this is even more true and we often see schemes where, for example, they actually pay small companies a grant to create apprenticeship opportunities for young people or to upskill existing staff or to take on unemployed people. They also make it a condition when they award large contracts to large companies in all sectors and industries that a certain number of new apprentices must be taken on. All this information is in the public domain so you can research who’s just won a big contract and then contact them for new opportunities.

Q: Are you holding yourself back from job success?- Angela reveals that one of the main barriers holding young people back from employment is themselves. They are constantly telling themselves that they cannot achieve their goals. In her new book, she shows her readers how to identify and overcome these barriers.


Tips for attending interviews

It can be scary when you go to your first interview but by taking advice and following these tips you can survive.

What does it all mean?  If you’ve been invited to an interview it means that ‘on paper’ the employer thinks that you could do their job.  The interview process is for the employer to meet with you and usually to compare you to similar candidates and choose the one they think will perform the best and fit in with their team.

Remember it’s a two way process – not only is the employer deciding if you’re ‘the one’ for them, you are also judging if they are the right employer for you.  It can talk some of the pressure off to think that you’re interviewing them too.  You need to be able to picture yourself in that workplace and imagine how that would feel.  If you get an opportunity to look around and meet some of the current staff remember to smile and look interested, they could be your future work colleagues!

What shall I wear?  The number one tip for dressing for interviews is to go smart.  Wear the smartest clothes you have, if you don’t have a suit a nice clean shirt or top with smart trousers/skirt is fine.  Don’t wear your best ‘going out’ outfit – short, tight and figure revealing does not generally go down well at interviews.  Unless you are going for a job to work in a nightclub then please don’t go dressed to go on a night out.  Smart, clean and neutral smelling is perfect.  If you smoke then please don’t have a cigarette just before you go into the building, remember mints or gum and wash your hands.  It might be helpful to have a look at what other employees are wearing so try to check out people outside of the building before your interview to get an idea of dress code or look on the company website.  If you are interviewing for a job which involves hygiene – such as food handling then please make sure your nails are clean and your make up/perfume is subtle.

Where to go, don’t be late! – Make sure you know where you’re going and how long it will take you to get there.  If possible do a trial run, make sure you know where to get off the bus or where to park.  Allow a bit of extra time for traffic on the day.  You’ll not make a good impression if you arrive late for your interview and you may not get seen at all.

Feeling nervous?  – You are likely to be nervous before and during the interview – this is perfectly normal so long as you don’t become too stressed.  Take a few deep breaths to calm down.  Some nerves are great as it shows you are keen, if you come across as too calm you may look disinterested and bored.

Make a great first impression – you only get one chance to make a first impression.  Make eye contact, introduce yourself, shake the interviewers hand if it’s offered and remember to smile J

Questions, questions – during the interview you are likely to get asked questions about the ‘competencies’ needed for the job – these would have been in the advert or job description and about the information you provided on your application or CV.  Make sure that you have copies of all these things and read them before your interview.

Any questions – at the end of the interview you will usually get the opportunity to ask your own questions so be ready with at least one good question.  Take it with you on a piece of paper if you’re likely to forget.  Think about questions relating to the job, future prospects, when you can expect to hear from them, try to avoid questions about pay or holidays.  If your question(s) have already been covered during the interview then just say that, otherwise you’ll come across as not paying attention.

Finally, Good Luck!  Just do your best and don’t be too disappointed if you’re not successful first time.