Developing Ayrshire’s workforce with apprenticeships

The Scottish Government has a target of creating 25,000 new apprenticeship places each year, with an ambition for this to reach 30,000 a year by 2020. Ayrshire College is helping to make this goal a reality for the benefit of local people and businesses. The College has trained 1,000 apprentices, employed in over 500 companies, since it was created less than two years ago. A further 300 apprentices will start their training with the College in 2015-16.

Read on to find out more about our commitment to modern apprenticeships and how we are supporting Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2015.

At Ayrshire College, we promote the contributions and achievements of our apprentices throughout the year, by featuring case studies on our website, in our e-magazines and at awards ceremonies. Scottish Apprenticeship Week is a great opportunity to demonstrate the rewards of taking on an apprentice to those who haven’t yet done so. During the week, our activities include –

  • Seven new video case studies of apprentices and their employers – GSK, Billy Bowie Tankers, Trump Turnberry, Cecchini’s restaurant, Urban Hair, Susannah’s Salon and TPS Weldtech
  • Daily posts on our blog highlighting how apprentices are supporting industry sectors central to Ayrshire’s economy
  • A drop-in session for employers on Wednesday 20 May from 9am at our Kilmarnock Campus to highlight the support available to employ apprentices
  • A celebration of the vocational achievements of around 100 students, including apprentices, at our annual John Mather Charitable Trust Awards ceremony on Wednesday 20 May
  • An event on Thursday 21 May aimed at encouraging men to consider a career in the care sector.

Apprentices add real value!

More than three quarters of apprenticeships supported by the College are in the engineering and construction sectors. We also offer automotive, hospitality and hairdressing apprenticeships and, from this year, we are introducing fashion and textiles, horticulture, and creative apprenticeships.

Willie Mackie, Chair of the College said,

“Modern Apprentices add real value to businesses, young people and Ayrshire’s economy. The skills developed through work-based learning are valued by employers and by young people looking to get the best possible start in their careers. Ayrshire College is a major provider of modern apprenticeships and I am delighted that, just 20 months after the college was created, we have trained 1,000 apprentices. ”

The charts below demonstrate the sector breakdown of the 1,000 apprenticeships supported by the College since August 2013. The left-hand diagram breaks down the 600 modern apprenticeships contracted directly with Skills Development Scotland. The right-hand diagam shows the sector breakdown of all 1,000 and includes apprenticeship training delivered on behalf of industry bodies like the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), the Scottish & Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers’ Federation (SNIPEF) and the Scottish Electrical Charitable Training Trust (SECTT).New starts agreed for 2015-16 show significant growth in engineering apprenticeships and an increase in hospitality apprenticeships – two growing sectors in Ayrshire’s economy.

Apprentices are integral to company growth!

An engineering company with a proud track record in recruiting apprentices is Wallace McDowall in Monkton. Operations Director Logan Collins said,

“At the moment, we have 17 modern apprentices spread across all areas of our business. All but one of them were recruited through Ayrshire College, which provides excellent initial and ongoing training to offer the best support for the apprentices. We use work experience placements with students as part of our recruitment process and are committed to developing our future workforce with the help of the College. Our apprenticeship program is integral to the future growth of our business. We have former apprentices working successfully at all levels of our company including senior management.”

One of the apprentices taken on by Wallace McDowall last year was SVQ Level 2 Engineering student Carra Woods who said,

“I went on work experience at Wallace McDowall and at the end of the week I was offered an apprenticeship! It’s going well and I come back to college one day a week. I would definitely recommend an apprenticeship – it’s great to work, earn and learn at the same time.”


Apprentices are good for you!

Trump Turnberry’s Executive Chef Munur Kara said,

“Apprentices are very good for us. They work on site in a live kitchen where they gain experience of the pressure that they can be in when they start moving up the ranks. When we take on apprentices, we always plan their future and the next step working towards the commis chef, then the demi-chef de partie and the chef de partie, so they’ve got a good three to four years career-wise lined up ready at Trump Turnberry.”

What our apprentices say

James Ross wanted to study a science higher education qualification when he left school. When he saw an advert for a process chemistry apprenticeship at GSK he applied and is combining study for an HNC Applied Science at the College with work-based learning at the company.

Shaun Hawkins, knew at school that he wanted to work in engineering and studied an SVQ Level 2 engineering qualification at Ayrshire College. He specialised in welding in his second year at college and secured a month-long work experience placement with Dustacco who then offered him an apprenticeship.

Subscribe to our blog and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook to see our latest videos of apprentices and their employers.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s