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School pupil inspired by Foundation Apprenticeship to pursue a career in nursing

#ScotAppWeek24 Apprenticeships
Martyna stands in a sunny dining room, wearing a blue polo shirt. The walls are bright yellow, with vases of flowers on the table.

Martyna Guziel is on a successful path to a career in Healthcare after her extraordinary efforts to support and include the people she cared for on her apprenticeship. 

Martyna, of Galashiels in the Scottish Borders, knew nursing was her perfect role the moment she started a Foundation Apprenticeship in Social Services and Healthcare as a subject at school. 

The former Galashiels Academy pupil signed up for the qualification after hearing about them in a school assembly.  

Foundation Apprenticeships provide school pupils with the skills employers need, offering industry insight to gain a work-based learning qualification at the same level as a Higher. 

There is also a pilot programme of Foundation Apprenticeships at SCQF Levels 4 and 5 for S3-S6 pupils. 

Martyna had already taken Highers in Chemistry, Maths, English and Geography. 

She completed her Foundation Apprenticeship in sixth year alongside Highers in Human Biology, Modern Studies and Art, and her responsibilities as Head Girl. 

On her Foundation Apprenticeship, Martyna was tasked with researching and learning about communication, safeguarding and health and safety – then applying her knowledge in practical ways while on placement at supported housing unit Wilkie Gardens, in Galashiels. 

Martyna said: “On my first day we did animal charades and I ended up on the floor, pretending to be a worm - the tenants were in fits of laughter.” 

She also organised a series of interactive social activities for tenants, supporting them to develop, maintain and learn new skills.  

Martyna consistently considered all their needs, abilities, goals and outcomes when planning activities to ensure that everyone was included. 

She is now studying an adult nursing degree at Glasgow Caledonian University, having included all the skills and experience she gained through her Foundation Apprenticeship on her application for entry. 

Colleagues and assessors supporting Martyna during her Foundation Apprenticeship say she was not afraid to ask questions, completed her college work to an exceptionally high standard and supported her peers with their learning too. 

Martyna said: “Doing the Foundation Apprenticeship helped me develop skills like creativity, teamwork, communication and empathy. 

“My apprenticeship gave me practical experience, a real insight into caring roles and quickly helped me decide that nursing was the right career for me.” 

Now the 18-year-old is on course for a career in care by progressing on to further study at university. 

Martyna’s achievements have led to her being a finalist at the Scottish Apprenticeship Awards in the Foundation Apprentice of the Year category sponsored by BAE Systems. 

Eildon Extra Care Housing Manager Mandy Johnstone said: “Martyna was an absolute pleasure – she communicated so well with all our tenants and facilitated the majority of activities on her own.  

“She was always very enthusiastic, very approachable and quickly became a real asset to our staff team.”

Skills Development Scotland Martyna Guziel006

Borders College Tutor Assessor for Social Services and Healthcare Hannah Inglis said: “Martyna threw herself into what she was doing, and her college work was always completed to a very high standard.” 

The winner of the Foundation Apprentice of the Year category sponsored by BAE Systems will be revealed during Scottish Apprenticeship Week, which takes place from 4 to 8 March. Find out more about the award finalists and the event by visiting