A day in the life of an apprentice … Part six

In July 2016 Ayrshire College decided to hire modern apprentices in Marketing and ICT. The marketing apprenticeship is funded by the Ayrshire College Foundation.

Eight months into her apprenticeship we asked Catriona Cook, our Digital Marketing Apprentice, to write a diary of her day-to-day tasks to give an insight into what her job involves.

Today is the final day in the series and Catriona tells us about the CDN Marketing Awards.

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Last night the marketing team attended the College Development Network Marketing Awards in Edinburgh. The ceremony was held in the Ghillie-Dhu and we won three silver and one bronze awards! One of the awards was for digital marketing – it’s great for me to be doing my apprenticeship in an award-winning team.

Ayrshire College

After the excitement of the CDN awards last night, it is time to get back to work. I decide to start my day with writing and scheduling social media posts on Facebook and Twitter to promote the #Respect campaign that the College is running. The Respect campaign encourages everyone to ‘Respect Yourself’, ‘Respect the Community’, ‘Respect the Environment’ and ‘Respect People’. The posts I scheduled link to the interviewing the College’s Front of House team blogs, they are a great insight into another team in the College. Read the series here:

https://ayrshirecollegeblog.wordpress.com/category/respect-campaign/

Next, I start working on scheduling posts for an exciting conference that the College are holding later this month called Ayrshire Bytes, which is part of DataFest17, a week of activities focused on data innovation. The Ayrshire Bytes conference will present a range of perspectives on data innovation and best practice, and showcase Scotland’s leading role in this area. There are going to be some great guest speakers attending, including Gillian Docherty, Chief Executive of The Data Lab, Brendan Faulds, Associate Director at NHS National Services Scotland, Vicky Brock, Chief Executive of Clear Returns, Daniel Macintyre, Senior Manager of Glasgow Tourism Strategy and Craig Hume, Managing Director of Utopia Computers and Richard Millar, Senior Manufacturing Systems Engineer at Spirit AeroSystems.

At the end of the day, I catch up with my boss Shelagh, and she gives me feedback on the work I’ve been doing that week. We then agree on my goals for the following week and this gives me clear instructions on what I need to work towards.

So, that’s my blog finished for Scottish Apprenticeship Week, I hope you’ve enjoyed having an insight into what it’s like working as a Modern Apprentice for Ayrshire College. My role is so varied and I’m always kept busy from day-to-day and I am always learning new skills. I am so lucky to have been given this opportunity at Ayrshire College, and I love working as a Modern Apprentice. It was definitely the right route for me to take, if you’re thinking of applying for an apprenticeship I would say go for it! It’s the best decision I have made.

Apprentices are a great way to build your team

For Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2017, we interviewed Robert Paterson, Training Officer from UTC Aerospace Systems. UTC has taken on 65 apprentices at their Prestwick operation over the last twenty years. Robert gives us an insight into the recruitment process at UTC.

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MA Week Twitter posts

How many apprentices do you currently employ?

We currently have 15 apprentices at various stages of the process and we’re looking to start another four this year.

What’s your intake each year and does this vary year to year?

This varies, it can be anywhere between two and six depending upon the forecast of the business need at that particular time.  We have long-term visibility of a shortage in a particular department and we’ve used the apprentice intake to fill that gap on previous occasions.

How do you recruit? 

We handle the entire recruitment ourselves.  We select candidates for testing based upon their application forms.  The testing is a two part process; one part is psychometric testing and they complete three tests, the other part is a hands-on task during which they have to follow instructions and use a variety of hand tools in order to assemble a test piece.

Where do you advertise and is there a specific time of the year you do this?

It’s advertised internally on the notice boards for word-of-mouth publicity and we also place an advert in the local press along with our website and the local Chamber of Commerce and in local schools and college.

What entry qualifications are you looking for?

We have two different apprenticeships to offer this year;

Mechanic/Inspector – we’re looking for qualifications in National 5 at A or B in English, Physics and Maths.  A practical craft subject is desirable, but not essential.  The candidate should have a demonstrable interest in engineering and/or mechanical activities.

Business Apprentice – we’re looking for Highers in Maths, English and a business-related subject.

Tell us about the learning experience your apprentice will have with you

Mechanic/Inspector – The apprentice will spend most of the first year off-site gaining basic qualifications (an NC and an SVQ2).  The rest of the apprenticeship will be spent gaining further qualifications (an HNC and an SVQ3) and learning their trade.  They’ll do this by working closely with experienced mechanics/inspectors and attending college on a day-release basis, learning to use technical data to help in the diagnosis and repair of problems and gaining hands-on experience of overhauling and repairing the aero engine nacelle components we work on.  The apprentice will rotate through various work areas to gain more experience and a wider understanding of the business in general.

Business Apprentice – This is a three-year programme with the apprentice typically spending six months in each team they visit, for example, HR, Commercial and Finance.  During this time, they will be given a project which relates to that particular area and also the qualifications they are studying towards.  These qualifications will be an HNC at college on a day-release basis and an SVQ3.  The apprentice will spend the first two years rotating through four areas then specialising in one particular area for their final year.  They will experience a wide variety of tasks in their rotations and will learn about the business.

What skills and qualities does an apprentice bring to your team?

Enthusiasm along with an eagerness to learn and develop.

Why do you believe apprenticeships are a great way to build your team?

An apprenticeship allows you to grow with your company, earning and learning along the way.  They experience many different areas of the business and tasks.  This gives them much more comprehension about business in general and their employer in particular.  All of this leads to a competent, well-rounded, employee that has the potential to slot into numerous areas if required.

Can you share a success story about one of your apprentices?

An apprentice that started in 1998, Derek Mackin, is now a Business Unit Leader of a well-performing product team.  Derek became a fully-qualified Mechanic/Inspector upon completion of his apprenticeship and moved into a supervisory position a few years later.  He then took on a customer-facing role to increase his commercial knowledge and vision.  He was promoted to Business Unit Leader a few years after that.  Derek started with us as a school-leaver and he now heads one of the busiest teams in the company.

A growing demand for digital skills

Stuart Cree, Education Contracts Manager attended the SCDI Skills Summit 2017 at Microsoft in Edinburgh as part of Scottish Apprenticeship Week.  One of the key messages was about how improved digital skills would boost the Scottish economy and allow us to be more competitive. As Stuart reflects on the summit, he considers what this means for our Modern Apprenticeship programmes and how the College is responding to the growing demand for digital skills by organising a digital conference.

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The SCDI Skills Summit 2017 was a very inspiring event and I was particularly interested to hear from Dr Jim Hamill, Director of Future Digital Leaders. He highlighted the growing demand for digital skills and how automation and new technology will transform the workplace of the future. Many jobs we do today will have a digital element going forward. Skill sets at all levels will be impacted. Therefore, we need to prepare young people for the changing labour market through acquiring new and contemporary skills.

Dr Hamill predicted that nearly all job roles in 2020 will require digital skills to some extent, even very manual occupations such as construction will incorporate increasing elements of ICT. Digital skills will increasingly be seen as a fundamental and integral component of the Modern Apprenticeship frameworks offered by the College. The content of the College’s MA programmes will be required to adapt to stay relevant to the needs of the labour market and to the changes occurring in the workplace. The College’s overall portfolio of Modern Apprenticeship frameworks may not change dramatically in the short to medium term, but the content of the programmes will undoubtedly be transformed by the introduction of new technologies.

Ayrshire Bytes Social Media March Sponsor updates_EventbriteHeader

Another key speaker was Maggie Morrison from CGI, a global business who provide end-to-end IT and business process services. She said, “Improved digital skills would boost the Scottish economy and allow us to compete with global leaders such as Singapore.”

Interestingly, these findings will be covered in a conference we are organising on 21 March which is called Ayrshire Bytes: Data Changes Everything. The conference is part of Global DataFest 2017, a week of activities focused on digital innovation organised by The Data Lab, one of eight innovation centres funded by the Scottish Funding Council.

We have been exploring how we might engage with The Data Lab for the benefit of our students. The Ayrshire Bytes conference will present a range of perspectives on digital innovation and best practice, and showcase Scotland’s leading role in this area.

Digital is disrupting how we do business and, to be sustainable and innovative in this information age, businesses need to embrace the changes arising from developments in digital technology. This conference is a timely opportunity to consider how to ensure these changes convert into opportunities.

Bringing together leading experts from the public and private sectors, 150 delegates will be able to explore big data, predictive analytics and cyber security so that they can understand how to derive business intelligence from data.

Ayrshire Bytes will be led by one of Scotland’s leading digital experts – Caroline Stuart, who will ensure that participants derive maximum benefit from a range of speakers such as:

  • Gillian Docherty, Chief Executive of The Data Lab
  • Brendan Faulds, Associate Director at NHS National Services Scotland
  • Vicky Brock, Chief Executive of Clear Returns
  • Daniel Macintyre, Senior Manager, Glasgow Tourism Strategy
  • Craig Hume, Managing Director of Utopia Computers
  • Richard Millar, Senior Engineer of Spirit AeroSystems

Tickets are free and available at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/datafest-2017-ayrshire-bytes-data-changes-everything-tickets-31511835749

Are you concerned about digital disruption? Will your skills need to change? Have you thought about the impact of digital on your business? Come along to our conference and find out why digital is such a big deal!

A day in the life of an apprentice … Part four

In July 2016 Ayrshire College decided to hire modern apprentices in Marketing and ICT. The marketing apprenticeship is funded by the Ayrshire College Foundation.

Eight months into her apprenticeship we asked Catriona Cook, our Digital Marketing Apprentice, to write a diary of her day-to-day tasks to give an insight into what her job involves.

It’s now day four of the series, and Catriona is working on a photo shoot with Guy Hinks visiting Kilwinning and Irvine campuses.

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Today I am working alongside photographer Guy Hinks to capture images for some artwork to display around the College. I have been briefed by Lynn, our graphic designer on what kind of images she would like to get from today. Guy and I are going to visit various areas in the College today including, Early Years, Social Science, Environmental Science, Business/Administration, HIVE, Supported Education and Hair, Beauty, Make-Up and Complementary Therapies.

Catriona Part 4

Prior to today, I had to email lecturers to arrange the photo shoot because I had to ensure that the students knew we were coming. I also had to print enough model release forms to give to students so that we have permission to use their photos. Finally, I drew up a timetable for each area. It’s important to stick to a tight schedule to ensure we are able to visit all areas we have in our plan.

I had to think of lots of other things whilst Guy was taking the photos, for example, making sure the working environments were all tidy and that students were wearing appropriate protective clothing for their area. It has been a really busy day, but a great feeling of achievement seeing the end result.

While I’m at the Irvine Campus for the photo shoot, I have arranged a meeting with class rep, Alen McKillop to take a video of him for our #HowToAC video series. For these videos we are asking students to show us how to do some handy things related to their course. For example, we had a motor vehicle student showing us how to check your car oil levels and a care student showing us how to perform CPR. For Alen’s video we are going to do a sport-related video – keep an eye on our social media pages for that!

Tomorrow I am meeting with Gordon Hunt from UWS, who is one of the trustees on the Ayrshire College Foundation. I have prepared some questions and I am going to interview him about his career and why he became a trustee.

International Women’s Day – Let’s celebrate by taking those ideas forward!

Melissa is the Programme Executive for Bridge 2 Business covering Ayrshire College. The programme promotes enterprise and aims to give students the opportunity to develop enterprise skills and to encourage them to start their own business by giving them the necessary tools. Today Melissa is sharing with us how she “fell” into enterprise, how women have inspired her along the way and how with the help of Bridge 2 Business you can turn those little business ideas in your head into reality. 

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Eighteen months ago, I sent a text to my friend Christina. That simple text started a series of events that practically changed the course of my life – to be more specific, my career!

One night, as I was perusing my university website, I came across a funding opportunity for projects and couldn’t look away. I couldn’t just close that tab and move over to Netflix. I looked at the announcement for a while and sent a text to my friend telling her about the funding and asking if she would be interested in doing a project together. At that time I did not know what it would be.

Christina and I met up for a coffee, started brainstorming, shaped our abstract ideas into a concrete project and LEVEL-UP! A two-day skills development conference, was born. (This is a very simplified version of the events, believe me there was a lot more planning, hesitations and “why should we do this?” involved.)

LEVELUP_committee

LEVEL-UP! 2016 Organising Committee

The conference was a success and last month – one year after the first edition of our conference, a second edition was completed and we sent the papers off to register our company. Oh – and we both got jobs with Bridge 2 Business thanks to the skills we gained by undertaking the project. Which leads me to my next point:

I am an entrepreneur

A fancy word of French origin (at least I think it’s French) that for a long time I could not relate to at all. Mainly because that word seemed so foreign to me and its “sibling” term “businessman” made me think of older men in suits ready to board into the business class of BA flights, so they could get to their next big meeting. However, the reality is very different. What helped me realise this, was seeing the different shapes and forms an entrepreneur can take. They can be any gender, and of all ages. I would never in a million years have seen myself as someone who would own a business with other people or ever think I would be someone that could potentially be her own boss.  (There is still a long way to go until I will be my own boss full-time but at least for some time during the week, I am).

Something that really stuck with me along the way, were the amazing women I have met since starting this adventure. I am not only saying this because it is International Women’s Day and we are supposed to be focusing on the work of women. I have been inspired by so many women and not only by their achievements but by the way they lead their own path, the way they present their ideas, the way they are approachable, friendly and awesome. They helped me think that I could indeed take on any quest and define myself as an entrepreneur.

Anyway. So what? Why would this matter to you?

Well, the first message of Bridge 2 Business is to inspire. Hopefully, with this blog post, you are able to see a different aspect of what it is to be an entrepreneur or to have an entrepreneurial mindset. It doesn’t need to be something big or exceptional, it is mainly about believing in your ideas and putting them into action. Taking those little risks in life that we know will make the big difference. It can also be as simple as a text (and follow-up work – lots of it!).

Action is key. Even if you have no idea where to start or how to do it, taking that one step forward will bring you closer to the goal. So don’t just brush off your ideas or think they are silly. Don’t let hesitations or insecurities prevent you from expressing your ideas.

If you want to read about awesome entrepreneurs around Scotland, have a look at the Bridge 2 Business website.

Bridge 2 Business Banner

Bridge 2 Business is now officially running in Ayrshire College. If you have an idea for a business or want to take on a project, but have no clue how to get started, this is where we can help. We all have to start somewhere and seeking the right support and connections is the first step! 

 If you want to know more about the programme visit our website or contact Melissa directly melissa.estima@yes.org.uk.

An assessor needs to be enthusiastic and motivated for students

During Scottish Apprenticeship Week we thought it would be good to do a series of blogs called, “Meet the Assessor.” These are designed to help employers and apprentices gain an insight into the role of an assessor.

Next in the series is Grace Coughtrie who is a Social Care SVQ Assessor.

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Grace Coughtrie Blog Photo

My role is to support and guide students throughout their award by assessing, verifying and observing their work.

I am enthusiastic and motivated to provide a good knowledge and understanding to students, to ensure that the service that is provided to vulnerable individuals within our community is the best it can be.

I have worked full-time within the field of social care in a variety of different roles and sections; from a care worker, to manager, to vocational development officer, and then assessor/verifier for 35 years. Currently, I am an assessor within elderly care, childcare, learning disabilities, and mental health.

I have also been involved in social care inductions for new individuals coming into work within the care sector. This involves the delivery of a variety of different training subjects that are relevant to working within care.

My background in care is what has prepared me with the relevant qualifications, skills and experience to assess awards in social care, as it is essential that all assessors must be competent in the area that they are assessing.

What does an assessor do?

An assessor has two essential roles. One role is more active; which involves asking questions, interacting, giving feedback, and recording. The second role is passive, which involves observing the student during their work.

It is the responsibility of an assessor/verifiers to organise, chair and distribute the minutes of the assessor/verification standardisation meetings for each vocational qualification/work-based award. The purpose of these meetings is to ensure that appropriate assessment materials are available for delivery, to monitor consistency of assessment decisions during delivery, and to review assessment work and delivery.

In my role, I visit a lot of different types of companies. Within the care sector I visit a large variety of organisations in criminal justice, homeless sector, residential for adults, respite for learning disabilities, care homes for adults, independent living, and GP surgeries. The health care sector is even bigger and would be an endless list of companies.

As an example; today I visited a student who works within the community care team that support individuals in their home. I offered my support and guidance in their reflective writing and encouraged them to follow the assessment process.

For a student to be successful in their award in Health and Social Care they would be required to be in permanent employment and working towards achieving an SVQ SCQF Level 6 or SCQF Level 7, which will be dependent on their role within the workplace. They will also be required to complete core skills in numeracy and ICT which they will participate in during college hours.

The assessment does not have to be time-consuming or difficult to complete. It can turn out to be an extremely useful and informative learning experience. So much depends on the assessor. Some advice I can give is if the following points are covered, the worst pitfalls will be overcome.

  • Give clear information to the student on the purpose of assessment and the assessment process.
  • Give clear information on what is being assessed.
  • Allow the student to ask questions and clarify the procedures.
  • Try to put the student at ease – assessment elicits strong emotions.
  • Remain in the background as much as possible.
  • Use language appropriate to the student.
  • Allow the student time to answer any questions fully.
  • Confirm achievement as soon as sufficient evidence is produced.
  • Carry out feedback sessions and encourage the student to discuss their performance and to learn from any mistakes.
  • Complete, sign and date all necessary paperwork to record results of a vocational qualification.

Being an assessor is a rewarding career. Ensuring that the service being provided to vulnerable individuals is the best it can be, is extremely important to the wellbeing of the community. Modern apprentices are vital to the health and care sector. It is also a great career path for a young person who wants to work in the industry.

Why Apprentices are key developing Ayrshires young workforce:

https://ayrshirecollegeblog.wordpress.com/2016/02/29/apprenticeships-key-to-developing-ayrshires-young-workforce/

See our blog on 10 Reasons to Study for a Career in Care:  https://ayrshirecollegeblog.wordpress.com/2016/08/03/10-reasons-to-study-for-a-career-in-care/

School – College Courses: Early Education and Childcare, Rebecca Nix and Amanda Barr: https://ayrshirecollegeblog.wordpress.com/2015/12/23/school-college-partnership-programme-rebecca-nix-and-amanda-barr-3/

Why you should employ an apprentice

Marketing and PR manager, Shelagh McLachlan has employed a digital marketing apprentice for the first time. Eight months on she reflects on why she recruited an apprentice, how she is helping the apprentice learn and develop, and the difference it’s making to productivity and motivation of the marketing team.

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Catriona and Shelagh - Why Employ An Apprentice Blog

Employers – do you have a job vacancy? Why not offer it as an apprenticeship?

If I was a parent whose child was leaving school this year, I would be encouraging them to look for a Modern Apprenticeship. It’s an ideal way to start any career. They learn new skills, gain qualifications, get relevant work experience and get paid. It’s a no brainer! However, an apprenticeship depends on an employer having a vacancy. That’s why I’m taking the opportunity during Scottish Modern Apprenticeship Week, to write this blog aimed at employers – especially those who own a small business, to consider offering new vacancies as an apprenticeship opportunity. I’m doing it and it’s one of the best decisions I have made.

Why should you take on an apprentice?

Perhaps like me you have been trying to build your team with people who have the right skills and knowledge. Although I had received a high level of interest in my advertised vacancies from marketing and business graduates, they lacked the specialised skills and experience I was looking for. In my view their learning had been too theoretical. I was keen to do my bit to develop Ayrshire’s young workforce, I knew that young people would bring energy, enthusiasm, creativity and a fresh perspective to my team so I decided to grow my own digital marketing assistant.

Why bother? I hear you say. Surely you will have to invest a lot of time and money training them, and then – there is a risk they might leave. Well, I believe as employers we have a responsibility to invest in our future talent. We have to bring in new people and replace skills. We have to ensure our current staff have opportunities to pass on their skills and knowledge to the next generation. As for leaving, I think if you look after your team and do the right thing by them, you will retain them.

Who would make a good apprentice?

I don’t think this can be defined by age. I think you need to look for someone who has the right mix of skills, experience and personal qualities who would fit into your team. For me this meant someone who could demonstrate reliability, a good work ethic, great interpersonal skills and communications skills, understood the importance of customer service and came across as friendly and outgoing. Enter Catriona Cook – someone who had a series of hourly paid jobs in various customer service roles and was now looking to start a career.

It is important that the apprentice has a willingness to learn and will invest time and effort building a future and aspires to a promising career.

How should we mould and develop our apprentice?

“Show Me”

Most of the apprentice’s learning will come from the team. I had commitment from my team – they could see the value of passing on their knowledge and skills and nurturing a young apprentice. Our marketing team is award winning – I had confidence Catriona would be learning from good practice and good behaviours. The business benefit is that it has reinvigorated the team – making them look at what they do. Young people look at things differently and are prepared to ask questions and challenge the status quo. Catriona wants to contribute and her fresh pair of eyes is always welcomed. As a student herself she has a great rapport with our students and can offer insight into our target market.

 “Teach me”

Catriona is working towards a Diploma in Digital Marketing and works with an assessor in the workplace to demonstrate her competence. It will take her two years to complete all assessments which are flexible and tailored to her job. She also goes day-release to college to complete a Professional Development Award in ICT which gives her skills using Word, Excel and Access programmes – tools she will use every day. She takes part in our staff training and has recently completed courses in LinkedIn, Writing for the Web and Pay per Click advertising. She also has access to a library of training courses on-line, called Lynda.com. Her portfolio will be impressive and she will easily be able to provide evidence of her digital marketing skills.

“Inspire me”

Probably the most important achievement of any apprenticeship is confidence building. Each day she has an opportunity to shine and make the job her own. The important tasks she is given make her feel a valued part of the team. She is encouraged to believe in her own ability. Catriona’s post is funded by the Ayrshire College Foundation and she is responsible for helping to design their website, managing the content management system for the website, communicating news using Twitter and LinkedIn, writing press releases about the Foundation’s news and events and updating the trustees at their regular meeting. She benefits from their encouraging and constructive feedback.

I do appreciate it might be more challenging for a small business to learn from “the team” when there is only one or two employed in the business.

What are the business benefits?

The benefits are easy to see – from day one Catriona has been learning specific digital marketing skills and is making a positive contribution to our team. She is developing a specialist knowledge and is a great support to her colleagues. She is growing and developing with the organisation and understands the ethos and values, and you can see this coming through in her work.

I genuinely think I have a more motivated and satisfied workforce as everyone is contributing to her development and we are proud of her progress and achievements.

Productivity has increased. Each week the digital marketing team meet and make a content plan for the week ahead – we inspire Catriona to be creative and write posts for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. We review our Google Analytics and make decisions about our website and Catriona is given tasks to achieve to improve the visitor experience on our website. We plan our advertising campaign and show Catriona how this process works. We have been able to increase the volume and quality of our posts.

Ayrshire College has been crowned the best college in the UK for Twitter and LinkedIn content by the social media ranking tool, Edurank. It’s been a team effort and our modern apprentice has made a significant contribution to winning this award.

Still need to be convinced? I have asked Catriona to write a diary each day this week so you can hear for yourself what she is doing and the impact this has on our marketing productivity.

Be a confident Modern Apprentice!

During Scottish Apprenticeship Week we thought it would be good to do a series of blogs called “Meet the Assessor.” These are designed to help employers and apprentices gain an insight into the role of an assessor.

Continuing the series is Nigel Bennett who is a Motor Vehicle SVQ Assessor.

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Nigel

I am a qualified motor vehicle technician with years of experience in the trade. I worked as an apprentice controller, then workshop controller, and for a number of years in training companies teaching and assessing students to SVQ Level 3 standard, now to modern apprentice standard.

My job is to observe modern apprenticeship students in their workplace, discuss progress with their employers and mentors, and carry out a review of the students every 12 to 13 weeks.  I visit them on a regular basis to offer support and observe the students’ level of competence in workplace procedures.

Every day I visit different companies in the industry from local authority depot workshops to major dealerships and independent garages. Some examples are open-cast mining, car hire companies and bus companies.

A successful modern apprentice needs to be enthusiastic. Apprenticeships require practical learning and academic elements, and a good standard of core skills, diagnostic and repair skills are essential. Also be confident!

To assess students, I follow the standards set by the industry lead body and gather evidence towards the required standards they need to meet. This can include online testing for underpinning knowledge, practical work observation showing competency towards set criteria (this is during arranged visits to company workshops) and assessment of practical tasks in a college workshop.

Want to know more

Read our blog on “Getting up to speed with our Motor Vehicle guru”:

https://ayrshirecollegeblog.wordpress.com/2015/12/02/getting-up-to-speed-with-our-motor-vehicle-guru/

Check out the news section on our website to read about apprentice Gillian Anderson: 

http://www1.ayrshire.ac.uk/news/news/2016/ayr-audi-apprentice-gears-up-for-long-service/

Read about our family of mechanics: 

http://www1.ayrshire.ac.uk/news/news/2017/meet-ayrshire-college-s-family-of-mechanics/

A day in the life of an apprentice … Part three

In July 2016 Ayrshire College decided to hire modern apprentices in Marketing and ICT. The marketing apprenticeship is funded by the Ayrshire College Foundation.

Eight months into her apprenticeship we asked Catriona Cook, our Digital Marketing Apprentice, to write a diary of her day-to-day tasks to give an insight into what her job involves.

It’s now day three of the series and Catriona attends an exciting training course to enhance her skills on LinkedIn. Here’s how she got on.

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Tuesday pic

Normally on a Tuesday I attend a HNC Administration and IT class. In the morning I learn how to use spreadsheets and databases and in the afternoon I learn about office administration. The course has really helped me develop my computing skills for working in the office and would be a great course for anyone looking to get into an administration role. If you fancy it, applications are open for August start: http://ow.ly/nAoI309t7ml

However, today I’m not at my college class because the marketing team is on a LinkedIn training course. LinkedIn is a business and employment-oriented social networking service and I have been learning more about how to use it to its maximum potential. It seems to be a really useful tool for business and to raise your own profile online. This is another reason I love my job, I’m constantly learning new things and more than often they are skills that are transferable to other roles.

The training today was delivered by Gary Ennis from NS Design, it was really enjoyable and I have learned lots about how to use LinkedIn. We covered the benefits of using LinkedIn, how to optimise your own profile and I now have a clearer understanding of how to integrate LinkedIn to an overall digital marketing strategy which is really useful for my job.

For the last hour of work, Jennifer has asked me to write and schedule some posts for International Women’s Day which is on Wednesday, 8 March. This ties in nicely with another project I am currently working on, a network called Ayrshire Connects. Ayrshire Connects is a network which aims to connect females studying STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects across the College. So far, we have had meetings and lunches, and the students visited the University of Glasgow to meet with its female engineering society, FemEng. You can read about that visit here: https://ayrshirecollegeblog.wordpress.com/2017/02/15/ayrshire-connects-university-of-glasgow-visit/

My final job of the day was to email the photographer I am meeting with tomorrow to confirm times and meeting points. Read my blog tomorrow to find out about an exciting photo shoot I have planned.