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Kinross teen Jack Johnson is getting prepared for the world of work, by undertaking a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of his subject choices this year. 

Foundation Apprenticeships are open to pupils in the senior phase of secondary school and usually take two years to complete. They combine learning at a local college with a significant work placement – all resulting in a qualification at the same level as a Higher. 

I am a lot more confident since doing the Foundation Apprenticeship. With the lecturers, they want you to be the most confident person you can be. I feel like I can really be myself around the people on my course.

Jack Johnson, Social Services Children and Young People Foundation Apprentice

Kinross High School pupil Jack is doing his Foundation Apprenticeship in Social Services Children and Young People at Perth College UHI, with the hope of picking up some skills, knowledge and experience that will set him up for a successful career in the future. 

He said: “I was keen to work in childcare or social care when I left school and I thought that the Foundation Apprenticeship would be a good thing to do.” 

As the only boy on the course, Jack is all too aware that men aren’t often seen in the childcare profession and this is something that he’s keen to see change. 

He pointed out: “There aren’t traditionally as many male influences in a child's early years education. I think that having more male early years practitioners will change that – and the Foundation Apprenticeship could encourage more boys to go down this route.” 

 

The sixteen-year-old goes to college one day a week and in class he’s been covering topics like child development and communication. In the second year of the programme, he’ll go out on placement to a local childcare establishment, such as a primary school or nursery. 

“I’ve enjoyed how relaxed college is,” he said. “It isn’t like school – it’s not stressful. All the work is laid out so that it’s manageable and you get treated like an adult. I really enjoy it.” 

As well as gaining the expert knowledge that will help him flourish in the workplace, Jack says that his apprenticeship is helping him grow as a person too. 

He said: “I am a lot more confident since doing the Foundation Apprenticeship. With the lecturers, they want you to be the most confident person you can be. I feel like I can really be myself around the people on my course.” 

Perth College has been offering Foundation Apprenticeships to pupils across the region for four years now, after taking part in the pilot programme in 2015.

According to the college’s Foundation Apprenticeship Coordinator Kevin Lamont, it’s been a fantastic opportunity for Perth and Kinross’s young people. 

He said: “The Foundation Apprenticeship is all about giving the pupils different career pathways. They get to study in three different places – school, college and the workplace. Hopefully, at the end of it, they’ll either get a Modern Apprenticeship or use it like any other Higher and go to college or university. 

“And the employers working with us benefit of the Foundation Apprenticeship too. They can see the young person in their workplace and basically give them a trial, see what they can do on a placement and if they’re the sort of person that they’re after.”

Want to know more?

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

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