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Schoolgirl Becky McCallum is using a Foundation Apprenticeship as her latest tool to build a career in engineering.  

The Cumnock Academy pupil had already completed an engineering course in fourth year at school and has now chosen a Foundation Apprenticeship in engineering. 

The 16-year-old said: “I was first introduced to engineering in S4 and knew right away it was something that I wanted to do with my life. 

“I’m really enjoying the Foundation Apprenticeship so far and it means that I can hopefully go into a Modern Apprenticeship when I’m finished school.” 

Foundation Apprenticeships give young people in S5 and S6 the opportunity to gain a nationally recognised qualification, at the same level as a Higher, alongside their other subjects. 

This type of work-based learning also provides pupils with the opportunity to get real work experience – with Becky already having her sights set on a placement with Prestwick based GE Caledonian in her second year. 

The teenager attends Ayrshire College two afternoons a week as part of the Foundation Apprenticeship, while also studying two National 5s and two Highers back at school. 

Becky admits she’s grown more confident in the practical elements of the course, such as metalwork but also feels she’s developed academically.  

She said: “College has definitely helped bring me out my shell. It’s a welcoming environment and made me realise my full potential. 

“At school I really struggled with my National 5s in maths and physics, but the theory side of the Foundation Apprenticeship has helped me to get two Bs in my prelims.” 

At school I really struggled with my National 5s in maths and physics, but the theory side of the Foundation Apprenticeship has helped me to get two Bs in my prelims.

Becky McCallum, Foundation Apprentice

She is also keen to let other young people know about the benefits of a Foundation Apprenticeship. 

Becky said: “You’ve got absolutely nothing to lose and lots to gain. 

“It really is a great opportunity to experience something different to your average school day.” 

Foundation Apprenticeship and Employer Engagement Lead at Ayrshire College Kirsty Taylor said: “Becky is doing great and has demonstrated a real understanding of the topics covered so far.  

“She is an excellent example of how the programme can positively impact on other school subjects. 

“The industry experience gained from Foundation Apprenticeships is an exceptional advantage to a young person preparing to make a start in their career.” 

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