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John ‘nails’ visit to see Borders College apprentices

College apprentices impress John with skills and learning

Borders College was delighted to welcome MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk John Lamont to its Scottish Borders Campus in Galashiels recently, where he visited as part of the Scottish Apprenticeships Week, which will be taking place 4th-8th March.

Mr Lamont is an avid supporter of apprenticeships and was keen to see first-hand the role Borders College is playing in this. Mr Lamont spent his time at the College visiting areas of the construction department and took time to speak to several apprentices along the way.

Commenting on his visit, Mr Lamont said:
“It was great to pay a visit to Borders College ahead of National Apprenticeship Week. I enjoyed my visit, even being put in my place by an apprentice in the ‘Nail’ challenge!
“Borders College are very good at linking up with local employers and teaching our young people the skills they need to work locally.

“Apprenticeships have a huge role to play in skilling up our young people, giving them opportunity to learn while earning at the same time. They can raise the productivity of the businesses they join and I have always been proud to support them. It is time that young people leaving school viewed an apprenticeship or going to university with equal merit.”

Deirdre McKendry, who is Director of Business Development with responsibility for the delivery of our Modern Apprenticeship Programme at Borders College, commented:
“We are always delighted to showcase the fantastic range of apprenticeships available from the College. As the main training provider of Apprenticeships within the Borders, which include Modern, Foundation and Graduate apprenticeships, it is important that we are able to make available as many training opportunities to both businesses and to those seeking to take up an apprenticeship while at school or as part of their employment.”
“Apprenticeships have changed greatly over the years and are not only available in the very important vocational construction areas but are also available in nearly every mainstream industry from business to healthcare. Apprenticeships and work-based learning are providing the skills needed for a successful Scotland.”

As part of the visit Mr Lamont took up the ‘Nail’ Challenge against one of the apprentices where you have to hammer a nail into a piece of wood in as few strikes as possible. Second year Carpentry and Joinery student Kieran Wally, from Craig Sampson Complete Joinery, Hawick, took on the challenge against Mr Lamont and won by hammering in a four-inch nail in four strikes, as opposed to Mr Lamont’s eleven strikes.

Davids Luksjanovas, a second year plumbing apprentice working with local company Brown and Muir, then went on to demonstrate the art of sheet lead welding, which Mr Lamont then had a go at and discovered that it is not as easy as Davids made it look.

The Foundation Apprenticeship courses from Borders College that are being offered to secondary school pupils from S5 include Accountancy, Business Skills, Civil Engineering, Food and Drink Technologies, Social Services and Healthcare, and Social Services Children and Young People. Youngsters who are interested in any of these subjects are encouraged to speak with their school guidance staff.

Modern Apprenticeships are work-based training opportunities for new or existing employees, supporting Scotland’s ambition to secure a trained, productive and enthusiastic workforce for the future. They offer the chance for individuals to work in paid jobs while undertaking workplace training to gain enhanced skills and recognised Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQ). All apprentices need to be in paid employment throughout the duration of their programme. Modern Apprenticeships are open to anyone aged 16 and over. Funding contributions towards the cost of training may be available, depending on age, sector and framework selected.

A relatively new option on offer from Borders College is Graduate Level Apprenticeships, which provide work-based learning opportunities up to Master’s degree level for employees. They have been created in partnership with industry and the further and higher education sector. The apprenticeships combine academic knowledge with skills development to enable participants to become more effective and productive in the workplace.

Scottish Apprenticeship Week takes place on the 4th to 8th March 2019, and is an annual celebration of apprenticeships that brings the whole apprenticeship community together and helps young people consider apprenticeships as an option after school or college.

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