IT apprentice David inspiring others to follow in his footsteps
Graduate Apprentice David Scott is determined to have a positive impact on young people’s lives promoting work-based learning as a valuable alternative to university.
IT apprentice David, from Glasgow, has been championing apprenticeships in many ways whilst at financial firm Aviva.
As a member of Scotland’s Apprentice Network, David has been involved in Scottish Apprenticeship Week, hosted a session for young people during Scottish Careers Week and addressed delegates at a Green Skills Conference.
The talented apprentice is also helping to shape the development of apprenticeships through his role on Scottish Apprenticeship Advisory Board, which is the voice of industry for apprenticeships
David said: “The first thing about being an apprentice ambassador is being a role model for others, including young people in schools who are trying to understand career choices and how to get started.”
David, who left Bishopbriggs Academy in 2017, did a Modern Apprenticeship with East Dunbartonshire Council and is now in the final year of his software engineering Graduate Apprenticeship with global financial services group Aviva.
At Aviva, David works on the quote and engineering platform. He is putting his apprentice knowledge and experience to good use to support others on their career journeys.
David's work has been recognised at the Scottish Apprenticeship Awards. winning the Apprentice Ambassador category, sponsored by Scotland's Apprentice Network.
The 22-year-old said: “An apprenticeship is a successful path to take and it should be a recognised choice as a real alternative to leaving school and going to university.
“Being an apprentice ambassador is also about advocating apprenticeships to employers, whether that's to increase the number of apprentices in a large organisation like Aviva, or encouraging other businesses to take on their first apprentice.
“I want to show apprenticeships are beneficial to your business and customers as you're bringing in talent and nurturing and re-skilling people. I'm a mentor and role model for apprentices.
“I'm helping people who are considering apprenticeships or who are apprentices and giving them a clear pathway.”
Aviva is a 325-year-old savings, retirement and insurance business with about 16,000 employees in the UK. Over the last five years Aviva has had over 600 apprentices including 80 in Scotland The company has Foundation, Modern and Graduate Apprenticeships across a range of disciplines from commercial underwriting to IT.
Shaping apprenticeship policy
On his work to help shape the development of apprenticeships, David said: “I do lots of external work to promote the benefits of apprenticeships. I play a key role on the Scottish Apprenticeship Advisory Board’s Apprentice Engagement Group and I'm part of its consultative approach working group. We're shaping apprenticeship policy which is really important as there are going to be lots of different types of apprentices in future, especially as we transition to net zero.”
David added: “I'm also going out to schools as an advocate for apprentices. When you talk to pupils about your own experiences as an apprentice it gives an authentic touch.”
Making workplace inclusive
David’s work has led him to gain recognition from his bosses at Aviva. He explained: “Being an apprentice and apprentice ambassador has provided me with opportunities. I'm involved with Aviva's Emerging Leaders programme and have a role in the Pride network. I'm helping to make the workplace more inclusive and diverse, developing the young workforce and closing skills gaps.”
Alison McMeekin, UK Apprenticeship Lead with Aviva, said: “Apprentices help us recruit diverse talent and they offer people a fantastic opportunity to learn and earn at the same time. Apprenticeships are also good for continuing professional development within Aviva in a specific role or for someone looking to apply for another position in a different area of the business.
“It's brilliant to have someone like David as an apprentice ambassador who can bring to life the benefits that apprenticeships offer. It's about championing apprenticeships at every level.
“We believe apprenticeships are for everyone, regardless of your background or experience, and we want to encourage more awareness of the value they bring across organisations.
“We want to get the message across, including to parents, that an apprenticeship is an alternative to university. Apprentices can earn a salary and gain experience while working towards a degree.”
Fiona Kennedy, Industry Engagement Manager in Business Innovation at the University of the West of Scotland, said: “This [Scottish Apprenticeship Award] is a tremendous accolade for David and recognition of the quite exceptional leadership, commitment and ambition he has demonstrated.”
Scottish Apprenticeship Awards
View the full list of award winners here.