Deputy First Minister Visits SIS to Celebrate Scottish Apprenticeship Week
On Wednesday 4th March, during Scottish Apprenticeship Week, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, John Swinney MSP, visited SIS to meet with our Foundation Apprentices.
The visit formed part of Scottish Apprenticeship Week, which runs from the 2nd to the 6th of March to raise awareness of apprenticeships and the range of opportunities they offer to young people.
We’re proud to be one of the first financial organisations in the region to provide Foundation Apprenticeships to school pupils; with the placement having started in March 2019 and running for a minimum of 24 weeks over two school years. We have with us three now sixth-year pupils from High Schools across East Lothian who have currently completed two of their three rotations of eight weeks and will be joining us for their final one in late-April.
Our apprentices have undertaken job shadowing, tasks and exposure to work within three key teams within the organisation; Investment, Finance and Market Building. To ensure their understanding of the work, apprentices have also completed mandatory training, drafted reports, evaluated live business plans and presented key learnings.
We, at SIS, have been working closely with the schools involved to agree learning outcomes for the apprenticeship and, upon its completion, the pupils will receive an SQA qualification. Having now provided over 500 hours of work-based placement for the three Foundation Apprentices, we’re committed to supporting young people in their journey into the world of work.
Commenting on the visit, Education Secretary, John Swinney MSP said:
“Social Investment Scotland is among thousands of businesses recognising the value of work-based learning to help meet their skills needs. My conversations with the Foundation Apprentices working here demonstrate they are receiving valuable training and on-the-job experience, supporting their transition from school into sustainable and rewarding careers.
“We are well on track to meet our target of 30,000 new apprenticeships starts by 2020-21, helping young people gain the skills and confidence to enter the world of work while supporting the needs of businesses.”
SIS CEO Alastair Davis, added:
“It has been a pleasure to welcome the Deputy First Minister to our offices. By meeting the apprentices, we hope he has been able to see the valuable and supportive role they have played within the business during their placement.
“At SIS we believe it is important to support young people in their development and provide opportunities to help them progress their career. By offering Foundation Apprenticeships, we’re hoping to equip Scotland’s high school pupils with a number of foundation skills as well as make a contribution to Scotland’s future economy through work-based learning.”
During the visit, the Deputy First Minister also met with SIS’s senior leaders, Alastair Davis, Chief Executive, Ken Barclay, Chair, and Darrin Nightingale, Head of Communities; along with the wider SIS team and Katie Higgins, Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce Co-ordinator at East Lothian Council.