From education to employment

Fife College- Foundation Apprentices honoured during virtual award ceremony

Iain Hawker

@fifecollege – Thirteen Foundation Apprentices have been honoured at a Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) Fife Foundation Apprenticeship Virtual Award Ceremony this week (Tuesday, 8 September).

Delivered in partnership with Fife College, Fife Council and Skills Development Scotland (SDS), the virtual celebration recognised the hard work and commitment of Foundation Apprentices from schools throughout Fife.

The virtual award ceremony was hosted on the Fife College website with apprentices, parents and carers sent a link to access a dedicated section which included video messages from Iain Hawker, Assistant Principal: Quality & Academic Partnerships at Fife College, Gordon Mole, Head of Business & Employability at Fife Council and Bob Garmory, Chair of DYW Fife.

Despite the challenges faced by the Coronavirus pandemic, 60 young people in Fife completed a Foundation Apprenticeship across a variety of subjects this year.  

One of the thirteen ‘Virtual Achievers’ was Max McKay who was recognised for his achievements throughout the Scientific Technologies Foundation Apprenticeship. 

Max said:

“My Foundation Apprenticeship (FA) has helped me develop my skills in setting up lab equipment and being able to carry out experiments. Before I was unsure how to complete different experiments, now I’m able to continue with them easily. It has also given me the chance to experience what it’s like to be a lecturer and set up for classes to do certain pieces of work.

“The highlights of my FA were the work placement and getting to know new people during the course. The work placement was fun, engaging, and where I learned what it’s like to be a lecturer, and meeting new people is always great. Now I want to take it further and go into the HNC applied science course and hopefully to continue that even further.”

Fife College and Fife Council run one of the most ambitious Foundation Apprenticeship programmes in Scotland through the School College Partnership, offering all 12 FA subjects available from SDS to all senior phase pupils in Fife.

Taken over one or two years by pupils alongside Nationals and Highers, completion of a Foundation Apprenticeship leads to a qualification at the same SCQF level as an SQA Higher.

Foundation Apprenticeships are recognised by all Scottish universities and colleges, supporting progression on to a job, an apprenticeship such as a Modern or Graduate Apprenticeship, or on to further and higher education.

Iain Hawker, Assistant Principal: Quality & Academic Partnerships at Fife College, said:

“Working in partnership with Fife Council, the Foundation Apprenticeship programme has allowed us to provide an excellent stepping stone for senior phase school pupils on to career paths across a number of industry sectors enabling them to achieve a valuable work-based qualification alongside gaining valuable employer needed skills.

“It is unfortunate we are unable to celebrate the achievements of our Foundation Apprentices in person this year. Although recent months have been a challenging time for all, it was important we ensured the achievements of those who took part in a Foundation Apprenticeship programme this year were still recognised and celebrated. Well done again to all our Virtual Achievers.”

Gordon Mole, Head of Business & Employability at Fife Council, said:  

“We recognise it has been an incredibly challenging time for both our young people as well as our employability and education teams and delivery partners. I want to express my sincere thanks to all involved who continue to provide training, support, tutoring and advice to support young people make the transition from their Foundation Apprenticeship.

“Foundation Apprenticeships add considerable value to the senior phase of a young person’s secondary education, whilst informing life choices and ensuring there is no wrong path towards a positive future. My congratulations to this year’s achievers and my best wishes for the future.”

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