Find out about the positive impact apprentices play in businesses across Dundee and some of the apprenticeship opportunities available.
Dundee City Council has helped many people transform their careers through apprenticeships
Alix Finlayson, GA Business Management Community Planning Assistant, Chief Executive Service
When Alix left High School at the end of sixth year in 2015, she wasn’t quite sure what she wanted to do.
While exploring options, Alix saw Modern Apprenticeship opportunities with Dundee City Council, and started her Modern Apprenticeship in Business & Administration in September 2015.
Undertaking the SVQ Level 3 enabled Alix, who had little work experience, to adjust to an office working environment whilst also gaining a vocational qualification.
After successfully completing the SVQ 3 she became a full Community Planning Assistant.
As part of her ongoing career development Alix was offered an MA programme in Digital Applications Support. This enabled her to become fully competent in a number of digital skills needed in the workplace; Alix was able to complete the programme while in her full-time post and had dedicated study leave.
Alix was still keen to progress her career so her manager suggested she should apply for the Graduate Apprenticeship scheme in Business Management, which Alix readily embraced.
Alix is now in her 2nd year working towards her BA (Hons) and said:
‘I am enjoying it. Being able to continue working full time and, at the same time undertake this learning opportunity is extremely useful, it allows me to understand a lot of elements of Dundee City Council whilst also understanding a number of topics in the wider business environment.
It is hard work, studying and working full-time. But the level of support given by my employer is extremely important.
My Line Manager and Mentor have been so great in keeping me on target and also making sure I am making enough time.
For someone who never considered university as an option, the benefits of this course mean I can further my learning whilst also continuing to gain the experience of working.’
Andrew Swarbrick, AITCO, IT Service, Education
After leaving school in 2015 Andrew started a University course in Business Management, but he soon realised this was not for him.
In 2016 he applied for a Modern Apprenticeship in IT with Dundee City Council.
This was a 2- year Apprenticeship shadowing IT technicians in the workplace and learning on the job, whilst studying one day a week at college, covering fault finding, implementation of IT kit, software deployment and other skills. Andrew successfully gained his SVQ 3 in IT and Telecommunications Diploma.
‘It was a wage in my pocket while I was learning and developing my skills. I really enjoyed it. Not only was I learning a new trade, I was learning so many other skills too – self-discipline, responsibility, diplomacy, teamwork.’
Towards the end of his MA, Andrew was offered a permanent post with the Council as a Graduate Apprentice, undertaking a BSc (Hons) IT Management, again attending university one day a week, undertaking subjects in coding, database creation and managerial skills. This meant more responsibility and more money.
Andrew is halfway through his 3rd year, and university is going well. He says
‘It is hard work but very rewarding too. So far, I have learned how to code in various languages, I have learned about networking and I have learned various project management concepts and techniques.
Recently, I applied for a promoted post and was successful. This is a big step up from what I was doing before, and I am looking forward to the challenge. I will be using the skills that I have learned through both apprenticeships to ensure that I work to a high standard’
Andrew believes the opportunity provided by Dundee City Council to undertake both an MA and a GA has allowed him to get where he is now and shows that his employer is backing youth and those who work hard to better themselves.
MA vacancies with Dundee City Council are advertised once a year in the spring on the My Job Scotland website.
Want to earn while you learn? Choose a Modern Apprenticeship with Dundee and Angus College
Anyone aged 16 or over can become a Modern Apprentice. From day one you’ll have a real job, with a real employer, that earns you real pay.
You will gain skills and hands-on experience that will help shape a life-long career doing something you truly love. You’ll also be working towards an industry-recognised qualification that employers value.
Modern Apprenticeships are available in a wide range of job sectors, including Business, Care, Creative & Digital, Science, Hospitality, Construction and Engineering.
Here, some D&A College Apprentices share their experiences:
“I love mixing the academic stuff with working in the garage. It gives you so much more confidence to be actually doing the job and I feel you learn the subject in greater depth.” Motor Vehicle Apprentice
“From coming out of school with no idea what to do, to working AND studying is a dream come true. What could be better than getting paid to learn?” Business Administration Apprentice
“I enjoyed the practical skills I learned and I gained lots of transferable skills. An apprenticeship can open up so many opportunities.” Engineering Apprentice
The Modern Apprenticeship programme is supported by employers across the Dundee and Angus region:
“We know that putting young people through the correct training and development is the future of the business and without this we would never be able to grow, so it’s key really.” A&C Precision Engineering Ltd
Interested? Dundee and Angus College can put you in touch with employers who are looking to take on Modern Apprentices. Please email Kathryn Simpson at firstname.lastname@example.org and she’ll be in touch to discuss your interests and experience, and current MA vacancies.
Find out more about the different apprenticeship opportunities available at D&A College at https://dundeeandangus.ac.uk/apprenticeships
Start your career in the NHS with a Modern Apprenticeship
NHS Tayside offers a range of apprenticeships across a number of different departments and working sites.
The apprenticeship programmes vary depending on the specific apprenticeship, with different timescales ranging from 1 to 4 years, different levels of study and different pay bands.
Some examples of Modern Apprenticeship programmes available in the NHS include:
- Business and Administration
- Creative and Digital Media
- Electrical Engineering
- Electronic Engineering
- Healthcare Support
- IT and Telecommunications
- Life Sciences
- Mechanical Engineering
NHS Tayside provides workplace mentors who support their apprentices for the length of the programme ensuring that they have access to a learning environment which will develop their skills.
An apprenticeship is an excellent way to combine work, where you receive a salary, while you are learning and studying for a recognised qualification.
MA vacancies are advertised throughout the year on the NHS Recruitment platform NHSScotland Jobs.