Tag Archives: Skills for Learning Life and Work

Civil engineering apprenticeship has laid foundation for Sophia’s career

Taking a Foundation Apprenticeship gave Sophia Findlay the chance to find out what a career in engineering would be like and now it’s cemented her plans for the future.

The 17-year-old from Springboig in Glasgow was planning to leave school at the end of fifth year and didn’t know what she wanted to do for a living.

Then, her mum told her about opportunities through Foundation Apprenticeships.

The St. Andrew’s RC Secondary pupil chose to take a Foundation Apprenticeship in Civil Engineering in fifth year, alongside other school subjects.

Foundation Apprenticeships give senior school pupils the chance to spend time out of the classroom with a learning provider and gain experience in a work environment.

Completion leads to a qualification at the same level as a Higher, to progress into work including Modern and Graduate Apprenticeships as well as being recognised for entry into colleges and universities across Scotland.

Sophia explained: “I had no real plan about what I wanted to do and thought I could maybe go to college and take up an art course.

“My mum told me about Foundation Apprenticeships and thought it would be worth doing because I would get work experience with a qualification and be able to stay in school until sixth year.”

Sophia took the Foundation Apprenticeship in Civil Engineering at Glasgow Kelvin College alongside her other school subjects.

In the first year, Sophia went to college two half days a week.  “My first year at college was really good” said Sophia. “I wasn’t sure what to expect, but there were also two other girls doing the Foundation Apprenticeship, so I felt more comfortable. The learning eased us in well because we weren’t bombarded with a lot of information.”

Now Sophia’s out of school one day a week getting her hands dirty, working on building sites with social housing developer, McTaggart Construction.

“At the moment I get to watch and learn,” said Sophia. “I’m looking forward to learn on the job and get hands on experience.”

Doing the Foundation Apprenticeship has opened her eyes up to different aspects of engineering Sophia didn’t know about, which has now given her a clear idea of what career she wants to pursue.

Sophia said: “I got to find out more about the career choices in Civil Engineering through the Foundation Apprenticeship and I thought they were fascinating.

“There is an opportunity to work in areas like flood protection and environmental protection, which really appeals to me because they are dealing with important issues.”

Ross Hammell, Sustainable Communities Programme Manager at McTaggart Construction:

“McTaggart Construction sees FA’s as a key element of our talent pipeline mix, alongside other traditional academic and vocational routes. The construction industry needs many more confident, hardworking young people across all disciplines to address the current skills shortage we face. The world of work can be a shock to a lot of school leavers, therefore FA’s offer the opportunity to gain a true understanding of a potential career path before they’ve even left school.”

“Since starting her FA with McTaggart Construction, Sophia has gained a lot of confidence which has enabled her to ask more questions and get more from her time on site, applying academic learning.”

Taking the Foundation Apprenticeship has changed Sophia’s opinion of school.

She explained: “Taking the Foundation Apprenticeship has given me something to look forward to and I’m excited to learn what the career would be like.

“Getting the experience of college and the workplace with my Foundation Apprenticeship has made me happier and more confident.”

Peter Brown, Senior Curriculum Manager from Glasgow Kelvin College said: “The Foundation Apprenticeship programme provides a range of benefits to our learners, chief among these being the opportunity to undertake a long-term work placement with an employer.

“During this time learners are given an invaluable insight into the world of work and a hands-on experience which inspires and shapes their future career paths whilst also preparing and equipping them with skills that are valued by industry.

“Furthermore, the Foundation Apprenticeship offers them the opportunity to learn in a programme and environment that has been solely designed with employment in mind.   Subjects they are currently studying at school e.g. Maths, Physics or IT are given real-world value through contextualisation and simulation of industry.  As a result, many learners better engage at school as abstract concepts now have real meaning and importance to their future career aspirations.”

Foundation Apprenticeships are developed by Skills Development Scotland, in partnership with employers and funded by European Social Fund.

TES feature: Primary career education should broaden children’s horizons

By Nick Chambers for TES

The focus for primary schools shouldn’t be on ‘careers advice’ but on ‘career-related learning’, argues Nick Chambers

The last few months have seen a sudden enthusiasm for careers education in primary schools. Of course, it is a simple and seductive idea.
But many teachers and parents have expressed their concerns that we risk making our children grow up too fast. They are understandably concerned about the dangers in directing children towards a particular career or job at a time when their aspirations should be wide-ranging and, in large part, without boundaries.
I share their concerns. We should not be providing careers advice in primary schools: instead we should focus on broadening horizons and raising aspirations, giving children a wide range of experiences including the world of work. It is about opening doors, showing children the vast range of possibilities and helping to keep their options open for as long as possible.
And there are a range of attributes, skills and behaviours that can be encouraged in this early stage of a child’s life that will leave them in the best possible position as they begin their transitions to secondary education and to future life.
There is often alarm, too, when people hear or read the word ‘careers’ in the same sentence as primary schools. In my opinion, the focus for primary schools shouldn’t be on ‘careers advice’ but on what I refer to as ‘career-related learning’.
Teachers would tend to agree. Our recent survey, in partnership with Tes and the NAHT headteachers’ union, found that the majority of teachers believe that children should be learning about the world of work and different jobs in their first years of primary school. Nearly half (47 per cent) believed this should start from age five and under and that linking learning to the real world helped increase motivation, broaden aspirations and challenge gender stereotypes.
Politicians, too, are on side. Robert Halfon MP, chair of the Commons Education Select Committee was spot on in saying in Tes recently: “The impact of early engagement can have a hugely positive impact on wider academic attainment, motivating and inspiring both children and their families, by helping them to see a future to which they can aspire and which feels achievable.”
Earlier this year we tried to explore this a little further by exploring who primary-aged children ideally want to become, and, what shapes (and often limits) their career aspirations and dreams for the future. Drawing the Future asked children aged 7 to 11 to draw a picture of the job they wanted to do when they grew up. More than 13,000 children took part in the UK and it was clear that, from a young age, many children had ideas about careers. Some 36 per cent of children from as young as seven years old, based their career aspirations on people they knew. For those who didn’t know anyone who did the job they drew, 45 per cent stated that TV, film and radio were the biggest factors influencing their choice.
Meanwhile, less than 1 per cent of children knew about a job from someone visiting their school. This has huge implications for social mobility, as children from poorer backgrounds may not have access to successful role models from the world of work and their aspirations are limited as a result.
All children, regardless of their background should get the chance to meet a wide range of people doing different jobs, in different sectors and at different levels – from apprentices to CEOs.
This is essential if we are to improve social mobility and gender and ethnic equality. It is vital we support children to challenge the perceptions they may have about certain jobs, and to better understand the evolving world they are growing up in while they are still in primary school.
While teachers appreciate the importance to children of career-related learning many say that the lack of time and availability of volunteers are preventing them doing more. The NAHT has taken a lead to tackle this and created Primary Futures in partnership with my charity, Education and Employers.

Emma Fieldhouse from South Parade Primary school in Wakefield explains why her school got involved: “It was amazing to see the children talking and listening to the volunteers, and each other, as they begin to make the link between what they do in school every day and the exciting world of the future where they will be the next scientists, teachers, politicians, vets”.
We must not rest until we see this kind of ambition running through all of our students in all of our primary schools.

Nick Chambers is the founder and chief executive officer of the charity Education and Employers. The charity runs Inspiring the Future and its Primary Futures and Inspiring Women programmes and undertakes research into the effectiveness of employer engagement

Foundation Apprenticeships: Preparing Young People for the World of Work

Foundation Apprenticeships offer young people valuable work-based learning opportunities to develop their skills and employer connections  in order to build their future career pathways.

Learners will now have the option to select a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of their senior phase subject choices and complete the qualification over one or two years in collaboration with local learning provider, such as a college and with an employer.

Skills Development Scotland has developed the Foundation Apprenticeship programme, in partnership with education and industry, which now feature  on the senior phase curriculum in most secondary schools in Scotland.  Young people can select a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of their subject choices and complete the qualification over one or two years, usually starting in S5 or S6 . This provides them  with a real, practical work placement which will give their career a head start and looks great on their CV.
A Foundation Apprenticeship is a chance to try a career out  to decide if it’s right for them.  Whatever young people want to do after school – straight into work, onto a Modern or Graduate Apprenticeship or to college or university – a Foundation Apprenticeship can open up their options.

Watch this clip to find out more about FAs:  youtube.com/scottishapprenticeship

Foundation Apprenticeships are designed by employers to ensure the qualification and skills young people develop throughout are what are needed for the world of work. Employers therefore help shape the next generation of talent and build the skills they require for their future career pathways .   At the same time Foundation Apprenticeships allow employers to spot talented, motivated learners who could become their future employees.

For more information on Foundation Apprenticeships visit  apprenticeships.scot/foundation or follow  @apprentice_scot .

FA PowerPoint presentation: FA Presentation

Download an overview of the key aspects of FAs here:  foundation-apprenticeships-positioning-doc-august-2018

Women in Wellies – Event 2018

A one day event to inspire young women to choose rural careers took place on 30th October 2018.

The event was a huge success with 170 attendees and Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) is keen to do the event again next year.

CNPA is also keen for organisations across Scotland to use the model and repeat the event.

A new webpage has been created, sharing videos of the event and providing links for rural careers information (training, volunteering, jobs, qualifications):

http://cairngorms.co.uk/caring-future/education-learning/women-in-wellies/

This document outlines how we planned the event, successes, and how Women in Wellies can be developed in the future. Please share the document with anyone who is interested in planning a Women in Wellies event.

Attendees

The venue (Boat of Garten Community Hall) had a seated capacity of 200. We invited five local High Schools (Alford, Aboyne, Kingussie, Grantown and Speyside) to bring up to 30 girls each from S4-S6. We promoted the event to students through contacts at UHI. We opened up some places for young women and women seeking a career change through Eventbrite. All places were free. CNPA covered transport costs for school groups.

Speakers

We planned speakers by thinking about the particular jobs / areas of work in the outdoor sector we wanted covered, and then consulted our steering group to find suggestions for good speakers to fill those slots.  Here is an outline of the programme.

Programme

30th October 2018 Boat of Garten

9.30 Arrival and Welcome

10 Introduction by Jo O’Hara (Forestry Commission Scotland)

10.40 Panel chaired by Anna Fleming (Cairngorms National Park Authority) Area Speaker Organisation / employer
Stalking Megan Rowland Gordonbush Estate
Crofting / rangering / landscape management Lynn Cassells Lynbreck Croft
Farming Joyce Campbell Women in Agriculture Taskforce
Recreation / mountain guiding Heather Morning Mountaineering Scotland
Conservation / landscape Frances Thin Cairngorms National Park Authority
Forestry Sarah Toulson Cawdor Forestry

 

Afternoon

Farming and crofting Lynn and Sandra, Lynbreck Croft
 
Forestry, conservation and field ecology Becks Denny, field surveys
Veterinary, equine and academia Sophie Boyd, Strathspey Veterinary Centre
Game keeping, stalking and fisheries Pamela Esson, River Dee Trust
Guiding, recreation and rangers Heather Morning, Mountaineering Scotland

 

 

Young Enterprise Scotland – News

Earlier this year our Bridge 2 Business Programme joined forces with Heehaw, to bring an exciting competition and opportunity for Edinburgh College Students.

The competition gave Edinburgh College students the opportunity to win a paid work placement, and valuable experience in the industry of animation, film & television. This opportunity also gave students the chance to develop their skills, which hopefully would secure them a job in the future or give real inspiration to start up their own business!

Earlier this week, we got news from HeeHaw that the students who won the competition through Bridge2Business, have in fact gained employment within the industry. We had 40 students apply for the placement, which was then narrowed down to a top ten, and ultimately two won a paid placement!

 

#collaboration is a core value of everything we do and stand for at Young Enterprise Scotland you can imagine how pleased we are to be working with VIBES – Scottish Environment Business Awards.

Businesses in Scotland are taking significant steps to improve or reduce their impact on the environment, often saving money in the process. The VIBES are held each year to recognise and showcase best practice.

The VIBES – Scottish Environment Business Awards are a partnership between Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), The Scottish Government, Energy Saving Trust, Highland & Islands Enterprise, Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Water, Zero Waste Scotland and the 20:20 Climate Group. We were delighted to showcase our work via young people from Lochend Community School in Glasgow as well as being the charity partner at the lunch receiving over £1600 to help continue our work.

As we approach the end of Scotland’s Year of Young People we can look back with warmth at the role that Young Enterprise Scotland has played, and we will join a celebration event on 3rd December to showcase the legacy if the year’s activity.

The one key takeaway for Young Enterprise Scotland has been improved co-creation and engagement with young people to help shape our programmes for young people in the future.

This was to the fore this week as we held focus groups with our current group of Pathway Programme participants to use their knowledge of issues and challenges they face to help us shape a future enterprise programme fit for purpose and meeting the beneficiary needs – putting the customer at the heart of your business

Founders4Schools – News

Announcing the Founders4Schools iPad App
On October 9th we announced the new Founders4Schools iPad App being rolled out across schools in Glasgow City. A brand new tool for teachers who want their students to benefit from encounters with local business leaders. The first version of the app will let teachers go through the full booking process: set up your event, share the details with us and find suitable speakers from the local area. It also provides plenty of detail about each potential speaker, as well as filters to help you select business leaders relevant to your school.

New case study formats
Whether you are a teacher, practitioner or an employer an easy way to get a feel for what Founders4Schools can offer you have a look at the following exemplars:

September has been our best month ever!
Over the month of September teachers across Scotland booked Founders4Schools encounters which will positively affect 3300 young people in Scotland. Have a look at our events map and see what’s happening near you. https://dywscot.founders4schools.org.uk/events Then why not book an event in your area? https://dywscot.founders4schools.org.uk/search/full

SDS Event: ‘Ensuring Foundation Apprenticeships are at the heart of the curriculum’ – catch up

A thought-provoking event on the further expansion of Foundation Apprenticeships across the country has taken place in August with a number of inspirational presentation s by gues speakers:

Presentation – Damien Yeates
Presentation – Tony McDaid
Presentation – Diane Greenlees
Presentation – Philip Black
Fife case study
South Lanarkshire case study
East Renfrewshire case study
Glasgow case study
Perth and Kinross case study

If you would like a colleague from Skills Development Scotland to get in touch regarding Foundation Apprenticeships, contact SDS at conference@sds.co.uk .

Social Bite calls for Scotland’s young people to join movement against homelessness with first ever ‘Wee Sleep Out’ initiative

Social Bite has  launched the Wee Sleep Out; a national awareness raising and fundraising campaign to get the young people of Scotland involved in the charity’s mission to end homelessness.
Wee Sleep Out is calling on all teachers, youth leaders, parents and guardians to challenge young people between 8 and 16 years old to get out of their beds, and their comfort zones by organising their very own Wee Sleep Outs on 9 November, as part of Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018.
From back gardens to school grounds, living room floors to community halls, each Wee Sleep Out is putting young people in the driving seat and giving them the opportunity to showcase their skills and talent. By leading on the development and delivery of their own sleep outs children and young people use their creativity and enterprising skills to help end homelessness. 

Calling all teachers, youth leaders, parents/guardians and 8-16 yr/olds. Find out how you can be part of the movement to #EndHomelessness this November 9th at www.weesleepout.co.uk:

There will be no sign-up fee, and no minimum fundraising target to make this initiative accessible to all – Social Bite would of course be delighted if young people fundraise as much as they can to contribute to their nationwide movement to end homelessness.
Money raised from the Wee Sleep Out events will go towards Social Bite’s wider Sleep in the Park total, which includes supporting Social Bite’s major Housing First initiative, which is expected to take 800 rough sleepers off the streets by 2020.
A number of young people who organise their own Wee Sleep Outs will also have the opportunity to play a starring role across Sleep in the Park events on 8 December, sharing their personal experiences of delivering their own Wee Sleep Out to participants.
Alice Thomson, co-founder of Social Bite and organiser of the Wee Sleep Out, said: “The success of Sleep in the Park last year was overwhelming. To bring 8,000 people together and raise £4 million in the process was incredible, and this year we want the young people of Scotland to join us.
“There’s been a real appetite from the young people of Scotland looking to get involved, and a number of them got in touch after Sleep in the Park, offering their support. We even had Cody McManus, aged 9, brave the Beast from the East and sleep out in an Igloo in his back garden – raising £1,000 for the cause.
“We’re proud to launch the Wee Sleep Out during Scotland’s Year of Young People and give the young people of Scotland a voice. We want people of all ages to get involved with Social Bite’s mission to eradicate homelessness, and we’re inviting young people across the country to get creative and take the lead by organising their own Wee Sleep Out this year.”
Olivia Ferguson, a 16-year-old student at Kelso High School, took part in Sleep in the Park last year and contacted Alice after the event, keen to do something involving other young people. She said: “This a great opportunity for young people to come together to help end homelessness.

“Last year my family and I took part in the Sleep in the Park, which was a very humbling experience. I didn’t want my support to end there, so I got in touch with Alice and suggested an event in the Borders, and I can wait to organise a Wee Sleep Out.”

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said:
“The Year of Young People 2018 provides us with a wonderful opportunity to celebrate, showcase and most importantly empower young people to make a difference.”
“We are delighted to be supporting Social Bite’s Wee Sleep Out as part of Scotland’s current themed year. It provides a fantastic opportunity for young people across Scotland to lead the way in the delivery and development of events in their communities and at home to raise awareness of an important issue. 2018 is the time to give young people the power to create change and celebrate their spirit of creativity and innovation – we can’t wait to hear all the ways in which they plan to take part in the Wee Sleep Out.”
The Wee Sleep Out is now open for registration at www.weesleepout.co.uk
Join the conversation #WeeSleepOut #YOYP2018

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Language skills – a crutial asset in a global economy

More companies are trading with international markets and this has led to growth in global supply chains. Because of this, there is greater demand for workers who have modern language skills, experience of the international business environment and are prepared to work globally.

Increasingly, companies are interested in employing people who can engage and communicate with their customers and suppliers around the world. Workers with experience of the international business environment are more likely to recognise the cultural differences around the world and understand potential trade challenges and find solutions – companies look favourably upon this skillset.

A survey of UK companies found that a quarter of those surveyed said they had lost international business to their competitors, as they did not have adequate modern language skills in their organisation. It is imperative that we move away from the attitude that modern language skills is a ‘nice to have’ attribute.

Learning a modern language will help improve employment prospects. According to a 2015 QS world university rankings report, six out of ten employers said they would give extra credit for international student experience.

Company examples

Paul Sheerin, Chief Executive, Scottish Engineering: “Companies need to open their minds and see exporting as a possibility. People learning languages in school is massively important in that respect. It is not important which language they learn—it is important that they learn a language.”

Do you want to engage with schools?

As a first port of call Scotland National Centre for Languages website outlines their support to engage with schools: https://www.scilt.org.uk/Business/tabid/1297/Default.aspx

Why not get involved with Developing the Young Workforce? The Scottish Government’s Youth Employment Strategy aims to engage employers with education to better prepare young people for the world of work. https://education.gov.scot/scottish-education-system/policy-for-scottish-education/policy-drivers/Developing the Young Workforce (DYW)

Do you need language support to enter a particular market?

Talk to a Scottish Development International (SDI) export adviser about your requirements. SDI may be able to support with translation and language requirements. https://www.scottish-enterprise.com/services/do-business-outside-scotland/talk-to-an-export-adviser/overview/enquiry-form

Do you want to get involved with Developing the Young Workforce and support young people in school?

There are now twenty-one DYW regional groups covering the whole of Scotland. The groups are led by industry and are the main conduit between employers and schools. They can provide practical support to develop programmes, which allow you to engage with young people.

Get in touch with your regional group using the details below:

Regional Group Contact Email
Ayrshire Claire Baird cbaird@ayrshire-chamber.org
Argyll and Bute Maureen McKenna Maureen.McKenna@uhi.ac.uk
Borders Sara Ward sward@dywborders.co.uk
Dundee and Angus Angela Vettraino angela@dywda.co.uk
Dumfries and Galloway Tricia Hunter tricia.hunter@dgchamber.co.uk
Edinburgh and Lothians Michelle Fenwick michelle.fenwick@edinburghchamber.co.uk
Fife Ray Fernie ray.fernie@fife.gov.uk
Forth Valley Jen Henderson jen.henderson@dyw.forthvalley.ac.uk
Glasgow Leona Seaton Leona.seaton@glasgowchamberofcommerce.com
Inverness and Central

Highland

Andy Maxtone andy@dywich.co.uk
Lanarkshire Alison Nimmo Animmo@dywled.org
North Highland Trudy Morris trudy@caithnesschamber.com
Perth and Kinross Fiona Reith FReith@pkc.gov.uk
West Highland Dougie Ormiston douglas.ormiston@dywwesthighland.org
Moray Sarah Baxter sbaxter@dywmoray.co.uk
Orkney Rachel Scarth rachel.scarth@uhi.ac.uk
Shetland Shona Thompson shona.thompson@shetland.gov.uk
North East James Bream james.bream@agcc.co.uk
Outer Hebrides Bernard Chisholm b.chisholm@cne-siar.gov.uk
West Bob Davidson Bob.Davidson@dywwest.co.uk
West Lothian Lauren Brown lauren.brown@dyw-wl.com

Are you a large national employer looking to develop a programme to rollout across multiple regions in Scotland? Get in touch with Steven Turnbull who can support you to develop a programme – steven.turnbull@gov.scot  

The importance of partnership planning to deliver high quality, work-related learning

John Devine, head teacher at  Breadalbane Academy, an all-through school  in rural Perthshire has invested in a unique approach to provide learners with meaningful, tailored and diverse work-based learning opportunities.   The school has introduced a Employer Engagement & Partnership programme with 3-5 year agreements with its business partners implemented by a project officer. “These partnerships lend structure and clarity to the process and help to ensure that engagements are well-planned on both sides, that they are relevant to the curriculum and transfer knowledge and expertise from industry to classroom and vice-versa.”

As a result children and young people gain invaluable  skills and work experience  which help them forge a clearer vision for their future career pathways .

“Through offering a broad and inclusive curriculum which is enhanced through employer engagement and partnerships we  believe that our young people are well prepared for success as they progress from school to tertiary education and the workplace.”

The following document outlines the implementation and outcomes of the project:  Interesting Practice in Skills DYW – Final

Other related documents:

Please refer to the School-Employer Partnership Guidance for further information