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With the chance to meet new people, build her confidence and learn more about her dream job in IT, Arbroath teen Eilidh Riach couldn’t say no to a Foundation Apprenticeship. 

The S5 Arbroath High pupil opted for a Foundation Apprenticeship in Software Development as one of her subject choices. 

Her Foundation Apprenticeship a two-year programme which combines college-style learning with a significant work placement.  

At the end, Eilidh will get a qualification similar to a Higher, which she can use to get into work, a Modern Apprenticeship, college or university. 

Two days a week, Eilidh goes to Dundee and Angus College where she’s taught alongside pupils from different schools. 

Eilidh said: “I’ve always been interested in software development, so the Foundation Apprenticeship seemed like a great opportunity – it also gave me the chance to experience new places and things.” 

With the chance to develop new skills like web development, the 16-year-old believes the apprenticeship is a great way for young people to find out more about the growing world of IT, particularly girls. 

She added: “Sometimes it feels like girls are discouraged from doing computing, and I don’t think that’s right. I’d like to see that change.” 

 Eilidh says that the apprenticeship has taught her so much more than technical skills for an IT career. 

She said: “The Foundation Apprenticeship has made me more confident, coming to a new place to try new things. It pushes you outside of your comfort zone.” 

Dundee and Angus College have been offering Foundation Apprenticeships in areas including civil engineering, childcare and accounting for the last two years, and according to Workforce Development Leader Laura Louch, pupils from across the region are thriving.  

She said: “They enjoy coming to college. It makes them feel grown-up and on the way to progressing from school. They seem really excited by the employer engagement.” 

And local employers appreciate the opportunity to work with the students too.

“They’re really on board,” Laura pointed out. “One employer that we’re working with is looking for future employees through this. He really values getting them in younger, and giving them that entry into his industry.”  

Having such a positive experience herself, Eilidh is encouraging young people thinking about their subjects for next year to seriously consider a Foundation Apprenticeship. 

She said: “With a Foundation Apprenticeship you get to experience something different to school, which is mores like the real world. Be prepared to work hard, take responsibility for yourself – and have fun.”

Want to know more?

Visit Apprenticeships.scot for information on becoming an apprentice and taking on an apprentice.

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