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The benefits of work-based learning while at school through Foundation Apprenticeships were showcased at the Scottish Apprenticeship Awards 2019. 

This is the third year that Foundation Apprentices have been recognised at the awards. 

Finalists this year hailed from Glenrothes High in Fife, Woodfarm High in East Renfrewshire and Arbroath High in Angus. 

This year’s three Foundation Apprentice finalists have all progressed on to Modern Apprenticeships or further education. 

Their success reinforces that gaining work experience and a qualification through a Foundation Apprenticeship helps individuals to make better decisions about their career and gives them the skills employers are looking for. 

Life-changing for Joe

Former Social Services Children and Young People Foundation Apprentice, Joe Pirrie was crowned Foundation Apprentice of the Year. 

Just three years ago, Joe was ready to leave school early for college but didn’t have the qualifications to follow his dream career in childcare. 

Having dyslexia and dyspraxia meant the practical side of apprenticeships appealed to him. 

However, staying on at school to take a Foundation Apprenticeship with Fife Council changed his attitude to learning. 

Joe went on to gain his National 5s in English and Maths, become Head Boy at his school, Glenrothes High, and excel on his work experience at Little Einsteins Nursery as part of his Foundation Apprenticeship. 

After leaving school Joe’s qualification helped him land a job as an Early Learning and Childcare Modern Apprentice with Ladybird Nurture Centre in Glenrothes. 

First step to career for Ferva

Eighteen-year-old Ferva Anjum was snapped up to become a Modern Apprentice with Dell after she was talent spotted taking her work experience with the firm as part of her Foundation Apprenticeship. 

Ferva took the Business Skills Foundation Apprenticeship with City of Glasgow College when she was in fifth year at Woodfarm High. 

Getting the chance to gain work-based learning at one of the world’s leading technology businesses excited Ferva, who was keen to enter work after school, rather than progress on to college or university. 

Clear career path for Eilidh

Taking a Foundation Apprenticeship gave finalist Eilidh Riach a clear path for her career. 

The switched on 17 year-old wasn’t sure what she wanted to do when she left school.  

Now, thanks to her Foundation Apprenticeship, Eilidh has her sights on becoming a web developer. 

When Eilidh’s computing teacher at Arbroath High recommended she take the Foundation Apprenticeship at Dundee and Angus College in IT Software Development, gaining practical experience appealed to her. 

Eilidh’s placement at web designers MTC helped her complete her qualification and she is now on a full-time college course with plans to go to university in order to follow her chosen career. 


Foundation Apprenticeships for future leaders

Deputy First Minister, John Swinney highlighted the importance of Foundation Apprenticeships at the Scottish Apprenticeship Awards. 

In a filmed message to guests, Mr Swinney said: “In Scotland, apprenticeships are not only for our young people, they are for people of all ages. 

“But this government knows young people are our future leaders and it is right that our Foundation Apprenticeship programme is embedded within the school curriculum. 

“For young people, a Foundation Apprenticeship can be their first engagement with the world of work and we must continue to ensure that these first steps to build careers are available to as many of our young people as possible in the senior phase of school and also help to create real opportunities to link schools with the world of work, which is a connection that will serve both employers and schools really well.” 



More information

To find out more about Foundation Apprenticeships visit

To find out more about Scottish Apprenticeship Awards 2019 winners visit the events pages of

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