Healthy employment prospects for Moray apprentices

Healthy employment prospects for Moray apprentices

A group of healthcare apprentices is celebrating after a lucky seven of them found jobs through their work placements.

The teenage pupils from across Moray were offered jobs while undertaking Foundation Apprenticeships in Health and Social Care. The course is run through UHI Moray, as part of the Senior Phase Programme in partnership with Moray Council Education Department.

The seven 17-year-olds have all been offered employment in care homes and supported accommodation through the course.

Four of the students are from Buckie High School. Aimee Wood and Kaylah Grant-Fielding were placed with the Parklands Care Homes. Kaylah is now working as a Relief Care Assistant and Aimee had just been offered a full-time permanent post at Burnbank Care Home (part of the Parklands Group).

And Neve Paterson and Brooke Walker, who are completing the SVQ elements of the practical part of the apprenticeship having completed the academic part last year, were placed at Netherha Care Home. Both now have Relief Care Assistant posts.

Meanwhile, Emma Philip and Erin Wood – both from Forres Academy - worked at Cathay Care Home in Forres for their placement and have since been recruited on a relief basis as Care Assistants.

Emma Paterson is from Elgin Academy and was placed at Turning Point Scotland for her placement, which provides supported accommodation and care at home for adults in Elgin with a learning disability or autism. She has been offered a Relief Support Worker post with the organisation.

Success

Cindy Gee, Foundation Apprentice Coordinator at UHI Moray, was thrilled at the news.

“The Foundation Apprenticeship in Health and Social Care has been a real success story, both for the students and the college.

“Lasting one or two years, pupils begin their Foundation Apprenticeship in S5 or S6. They spend time out of school at college and with a local employer, and completing the Foundation Apprenticeship alongside their other subjects like National 5s and Highers.

“It leads to a qualification at the same level of learning as a Higher and can lead to progression on to a job, such as a Modern or Graduate Apprenticeship.

“The Foundation Apprenticeship also provides excellent opportunities for any young person who has ambition to study health-related topics at university or college. We have excellent examples of former apprentices who are now studying nursing.

“It’s a great opportunity for any young person and the employers we have on board, who are willing and able to help is superb.

“A Foundation Apprenticeship means you can try out the workplace, learn the job, but most important of all is you can find out if this is something that you would like to do for a career.”

Current Foundation Apprentices in Health and Social Care at UHI Moray alongside Lecturer Shona Beattie (first left) and Cindy Gee, Foundation Apprentice Coordinator (far right).

Apprentice view

Kaylah Grant-Fielding said she had found the experience hard work but extremely enjoyable.

“The Foundation Apprenticeship is a good mix between learning and being on placement as we are in college one day a week and on placement one day a week.

“It felt a bit different because at school we are on quite a strict schedule however in college it is a bit more relaxed although we’re still getting work done.

“The best thing about the whole experience has definitely been getting a job out of it – I am hoping to continue studying to become a paramedic or nurse.”

Kaylah’s new employer – Manager of Buckie’s Parklands and Burnbank Care Homes Denise Risk – said: “We are delighted to be supporting the Foundation Apprenticeship at Parklands and Burnbank.

“We have really enjoyed working with Kaylah and Aimee, both of whom have great potential for the future.

“Initiatives like this are so important for young people, and hopefully Foundation Apprenticeship marks the start of long and successful careers in health and social care for Kaylah and Aimee.”

Real-world experience

Most of the students are staying on school for the time being, with relief roles ideal for covering shifts when they aren’t able to commit to a regular amount of hours in a week.

Cindy Gee said: “Foundation Apprenticeships were developed to help young people gain valuable, real-world work experience and access work-based learning while they’re still at school.

“We are not all the same and different things work for different people.

“Apprenticeships work by giving people the skills employers need now and for the future.

“A Foundation Apprenticeship allows for that individuality and you will hopefully find something that you are truly passionate about and get a job doing something that you love.”

You can find out more about Foundation Apprenticeships on Apprenticeships.scot or by getting in touch with Cindy Gee via email.

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