Sports-loving Pippa kicks off her career with apprenticeship
Sports-loving Pippa Van Wees is following her passion through her apprenticeship with Angus Council's Active Schools.
Having played basketball since primary school and enjoying a healthy lifestyle, Pippa, now 21, chose a Modern Apprenticeship SCQF Level 7 in leisure management that has helped her pursue her dream career.
When Pippa, from near Arbroath, left school she wasn't 100% sure about what to do next. Her mum pointed out a Modern Apprenticeship opportunity with Active Schools and when Pippa read the job description she was certain it was right for her. She already knew she liked working with young children, having coached when she was in S5 and S6 at Arbroath High School.
Modern Apprenticeships are jobs open to anyone aged 16 and over who want to work, learn and earn. Apprentices spend most of their time learning in the workplace while being supported by a local college or specialist training provider to gain an industry recognised qualification.
Pippa is one of two Modern Apprentices with Angus Council Active Schools, working alongside a manager and nine co-ordinators. The team, including Pippa, develop and promote physical activity and sport opportunities to school age children.
One of Pippa’s biggest achievements as an apprentice has been that the one-to-one work she led on contributed to a primary school pupil being able to complete occupational therapy earlier than planned due to a significant increase in their motor skill development. Pippa helped them improve by working on their gross motor skills. The head teacher said that Pippa’s input was a major contributing factor to this successful outcome.
Pippa said: “The Modern Apprenticeship is hands-on and is giving me priceless, real-life work experience. On my apprenticeship I'm learning while I'm earning, which is great, and I’m getting so much support from the team.
“I've really matured since I started my apprenticeship. My confidence has grown and my communication has improved. Through my apprenticeship I work with teachers, parents and senior management in schools every day, so I need to show high levels of professionalism. When I go to schools and see how excited the kids are about my sessions that's also a real confidence booster.”
The Modern Apprenticeship is hands-on and is giving me priceless, real-life work experience.
Pippa Van Wees
Pippa wants to continue on her chosen career path, and her progress led to her becoming a finalist at this year's Scottish Apprenticeship Awards in the Modern Apprentice of the Year SCQF Level 6+ category sponsored by the Young Person's Guarantee.
Pippa said at the time: “It feels amazing to be a finalist. It shows the hard work and dedication you put into your apprenticeship is recognised.”
Kelly Moonlight, Angus Council Active Schools Coordinator, said: “Coming from a sporting background, Pippa hit the ground running on her Modern Apprenticeship. It's been invaluable having a younger person on our team. We've all learned a lot from her and she really engages with the kids.
“It's important for us to create opportunities for young people to gain experience and to have an opportunity to become a permanent employee within the council. Apprenticeships help us develop the workforce for the future and are definitely a good support for the council. We would 100% recommend apprenticeships.”
The Sports Academy of Scotland delivers the learning provision for the Active Schools apprenticeships.
Director of the Academy Eric Dawes said: “Pippa’s work is some of the best I have seen in my long career of assessing and managing Modern Apprentices in the sport, leisure and recreation industries across Scotland.
“I can say that over the past 25 years Pippa sits within the top 1% of the many hundreds of Modern Apprentices I have worked with in regards to her professionalism, ability, communication skills and proactive approach to her vocation.”
He added: “Pippa’s online portfolio was chosen at random last August by our SQA External Verifier for his annual remote audit. He had three weeks of unlimited access to her portfolio and during his live audit feedback report he expressed his findings that Pippa’s work "completely blew his mind."
I can say that over the past 25 years Pippa sits within the top 1% of the many hundreds of Modern Apprentices I have worked with in regards to her professionalism.
Director of the Sports Academy
Scottish Apprenticeship Awards
The winner of the Modern Apprentice SCQF Level 6+ category sponsored by the Young Person's Guarantee was revealed at the Scottish Apprenticeship Awards, which is organised by Skills Development Scotland.
Find out more at Apprenticeships.scot/awards