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Askernish teenager Anna Campbell is preparing for a lifelong career in the classroom through a Foundation Apprenticeship. 

The Sgoil Lionacleit pupil has long held ambitions of being a primary school teacher, and jumped at the chance to study a Foundation Apprenticeship in Social Care Children and Young People as one of her S5 subjects. 

Foundation Apprenticeships let pupils in S5 and S6 study towards a qualification similar to a Higher over the course of two years, combining college-style learning with a significant work placement. 

Three times a week, Ormiclate-based training provider Cothrom go to Sgoil Lionacleit to deliver the training, and on Monday afternoons, Anna heads out on placement to Daliburgh School. 

She said: “The Foundation Apprenticeship definitely makes you more independent. You get told what you need to know, but then you have to go away and do the work yourself. There’s someone there to help you if you need it, but it’s closer to what you’d be doing in teacher training.” 

In class, Anna is getting to learn more about topics like child development, communication, safeguarding and wellbeing, and it’s all helping when she’s working with the pupils of Daliburgh. 

The placement was the real draw for Anna, who really enjoys her time on the other side of the teacher’s desk. 

“The placement is really fun,” said S5 pupil Anna. “When I go into the class, all the kids are really excited to see me, they want to show me what they’re working on. 

“I did a work placement two years ago in the same school, and I’ve seen a big difference in some of the pupils. One of the pupils couldn’t read before, and now she can – it’s amazing to see that change.” 

The Foundation Apprenticeship definitely makes you more independent. You get told what you need to know, but then you have to go away and do the work yourself.

Anna Campbell, Social Care Children and Young People Foundation Apprentice

As well as getting to see what her dream job is really like, 16-year-old Anna says she’s learning new skills and developing in a way that will benefit her career going forward. 

She explained: “I’m much more confident since doing the Foundation Apprenticeship. On placement, you talk to teachers, you talk to staff – I wouldn’t normally go to staff and say hello! But now I’ll make conversation with them. It’s completely different to school.” 

Kirsty MacCormick, manager at training provider Cothrom, says that the Foundation Apprenticeship has been a great opportunity for pupils and businesses across Eilean Siar. 

She said: “The young people have all learned a lot from doing the Foundation Apprenticeship. The placement in particular has been very beneficial. They’re seeing that it is leading them towards careers goals, and they’re feeling that they’ve made a worthwhile choice. 

“It’s also giving local employers the chance to show young people what their workplace is like, and to identify new talent.” 

Anna is delighted that she took up the opportunity to do the apprenticeship, and would encourage other young people to get involved. 

She said: “If you get the chance to do a Foundation Apprenticeship, do it. You get your college-style learning, the presentations and essays, but you also get experience. You get to feel what the job would be like, and you get to see the teachers in action – behind the scenes too, in the staff room, when they’re preparing for lessons. It’s really good.” 

Want to know more?

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

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