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Teenager Heather Wilson believes she can set sail on a Royal Navy career thanks to her Foundation Apprenticeship.

The 17-year-old has attended the Greenock Sea Cadets for six years and would love to take this one step further by becoming a Royal Navy engineer.

Choosing an Engineering Foundation Apprenticeship as one of her school subjects has been the perfect “taster” for the St Columbus High School pupil.

Heather, from Gourock, has experienced all aspects of engineering thanks to the valuable combination of school, college and work-based learning with ferries operator CalMac.

The Foundation Apprenticeship is a great way to gain experience before I join the Navy. I learn better by doing something practical, so the Foundation Apprenticeship has been ideal.

Heather Wilson, Engineering Foundation Apprentice

She said: “I knew I wanted to do engineering, but I didn’t know which part I was best at. The variety was useful for me. A Foundation Apprenticeship is a great concept as it allows you to stand out from others.

“The Foundation Apprenticeship is a great way to gain experience before I join the Navy. I learn better by doing something practical, so the Foundation Apprenticeship has been ideal.”

With her heart set on joining the Royal Navy, Heather’s work placement at CalMac has given her the confidence needed to pursue her dream. She is shown below with her Cal Mac supervisor Jim Mooney.

The West College Scotland student is a perfect fit for a life at sea having previously been named as top sea cadet in the Clyde South area. She also enjoys Sailing and playing for a Greenock Pipe Band.

My next steps are to finish my Foundation Apprenticeship then apply to do engineering in the Navy. My apprenticeship has helped me realise that this is what I really want to do.

Heather Wilson, Engineering Foundation Apprentice

Heather added: “My Dad has an engineering background and he thinks the Foundation Apprenticeship is great.

“My next steps are to finish my Foundation Apprenticeship then apply to do engineering in the Navy. My apprenticeship has helped me realise that this is what I really want to do.”

CalMac Learning Partner – Development Caroline Barry is passionate about developing the future workforce and believes apprenticeships are the best way to nurture young talent.

She said: “CalMac believe in developing the young workforce throughout the communities we serve. Heather is our second Engineering Foundation Apprentice. It’s not easy to choose a career, but a Foundation Apprenticeship gives young people an opportunity to make an informed decision about their future.”

West College Scotland Schools Relationship Manager Sharron Rodger said: “Heather is doing well in her placement with Cal Mac – she even sourced it herself by approaching them and explaining Foundation Apprenticeships.”

More information

Visit apprenticeships.scot to find out more about Foundation Apprenticeships.

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