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Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) West Highland, hosted by Lochaber Chamber of Commerce, have today (date) released a series of inspirational and educational video case studies showcasing apprenticeship programmes in a diverse range of industry sectors across Lochaber, Skye and Wester Ross.
They are being released, in advance of Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2019, March 4-8, to inspire young people to focus on the ‘earn while you learn’ route as a credible ‘Plan A’ career path.
By featuring firsthand accounts of young apprentices working in a variety of businesses across the West Highlands, the five three to six-minute videos effectively outline why apprenticeship programmes offer a credible alternative pathway to young people seeking a high-flying career.
They also demonstrate the wide range of industry sectors, apprenticeship programmes and career opportunities available in the region.
In the interviews the apprentices talk about their day-to-day work experiences, what drives their enthusiasm for their apprenticeships, the excellent opportunities they have been given and their hopes for the future as a direct result of their apprenticeships.
Their employers are also featured highlighting the fantastic on the job training and other career opportunities their employees gain on apprenticeship programmes, as well as the benefits of apprenticeships to their organisations.
Lesley Benfield, DYW West Highland programme director, said: ‘Businesses know that apprenticeships give young people the practical skills and qualifications that their business needs and young people are finding they can become valued employees early in their working careers by using the Apprenticeship route to qualification.
‘Learning whilst earning has become an increasingly attractive alternative to full time academic study and employers are reporting that taking on Apprentices is resulting in growth and increased productivity in their business.’
For the wider business community, the case studies highlight the strength and depth of talent to be found within local schools and colleges that can be nurtured by employers through apprenticeship programmes; leading to a thriving regional economy.
Lesley Benfield added: ‘We hope that the videos will encourage more businesses to harness the amazing fresh talent we have here in the West Highlands and realise the potential of using the Apprenticeship framework to upskill existing employees.’
The young apprentices, aged between 19 and 22, include Robert who works in business administration and Mathew who is an aspiring HGV mechanic at Ferguson Transport & Shipping, and Emily who is working in electrical engineering at Mowi (formally Marine Harvest (Scotland) Ltd). Corpach Boat Builders have also taken the opportunity provided by this DYW West Highland video project to promote apprenticeships and careers available within their organisation.
Ian Blackford, MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber: ‘Young people are our future and every effort must be made to allow them an accessible pathway into a prosperous beginning in the world of employment.
‘The Developing the Young Workforce West Highland programme has done some exceptional work in producing these videos to highlight the magnitude, and quality, of the apprenticeship programmes available to young people across Lochaber, Skye and Wester Ross.
‘As you can see and hear from the young adults featured; there is a diverse range of opportunities available across various professional sectors. Apprenticeships are an invaluable resource in making pathways into skilled careers affordable to people.
‘I couldn’t recommend this project enough. I would urge any young person in Lochaber, Skye and Wester Ross to take inspiration from those featured in these videos and consider for themselves the benefits that an apprenticeship programme could have on the rest of their lives.’
The short films, produced by Digital Studio, will be easily accessible online and can be shared with young people still in school and further education to assist them when making informed choices about their future careers.
There are more than 80 types of modern apprenticeships in Scotland across hundreds of jobs. The video case studies truly capture and celebrate the exciting range and diversity of career opportunities in Lochaber, Skye and Wester Ross.
DYW West Highland is expecting to complete and launch another seven apprentice films throughout 2019.
cap: Padraig McNeil (19), apprentice saw doctor, BSW Timber Group (Fort William Mill). Padraig was a pupil at Lochaber High School. Photograph: Digital Studios.