Skills Development Scotland is working with employers, schools and training providers to roll out apprenticeship programmes to senior phase pupils in schools across Scotland.
Foundation apprenticeships are being introduced to allow pupils to follow a vocational learning stream in S4, S5 and S6.
Working closely with employers this work based learning will allow young people to leave school with the necessary skills and vocational competence to enter the world of work.
The engineering pathfinders were introduced in 2014/15 with around 80 pupils starting foundation apprenticeships in Fife and West Lothian.
Skills Development Scotland is now building local partnership with schools, colleges, learning/training providers and employers to deliver pathfinders across more industries, including health and social care and early years, and local authority areas.
The first engineering pilots have been very successful with considerable buy in from employers and this is what sets this type of programme apart from the usual ‘work experience’ offered to pupils.
The pathfinder apprenticeships are about pupils being active participants in learning in a workplace, exiting after the senior phase with a recognised vocational qualification that would enable them to successfully enter a workplace with the knowledge; skills and capability necessary for a successful career.
In the case of health and social care and early years this could mean achieving an SVQ level 2 while at school and progressing to SVQ level 3 or higher level vocational qualifications. Critical to the success of the programme is the extent to which employers are actively involved in offering real work opportunities for pupils.
This will help to secure a good supply of candidates who will become the next generation of care workers, but we need employers’ help to make it a success.
Frances Scott is Innovation Manager with Skills Development Scotland and is responsible for the foundation apprenticeships for the social services sector. She would be happy to hear from schools, employers and learning providers interested in hearing more about this new venture. Contact Frances here: firstname.lastname@example.org
To find out more about foundation apprenticeships, visit: http://www.skillsdevelopmentscotland.co.uk/our-services/foundation-apprenticeships/