Midlothian employer recruits apprentices

The SQA building , Shawfair, Danderhall
The SQA building , Shawfair, Danderhall

The Scottish Qualifications Authority has started the latest round of recruitment for its successful Modern Apprenticeship programme.

School leavers, and young people aged between 16 and 19 years, will have until Friday, May 12 to apply for a number of training positions across the organisation at SQA’s sites in Glasgow, and Dalkeith as part of its Pathways Apprenticeship programme.

Since 2012, 18 business and administration apprentices have been employed by SQA, working in a variety of roles, in departments including Business Development and Customer Services, Finance, Human Resources, International Awarding, Qualifications Development, and Appointee Management.

SQA staff recently attended a number of local recruitment roadshows highlighting the apprenticeship opportunities during Scottish Apprenticeship Week.

As part of their training, each SQA apprentice completes a level three Scottish Vocational Qualification in Administration and IT; developing their skills and knowledge in the work place, and attends a local college to complete a Higher National Certificate in Business Administration.

Erin Stenson joined SQA as a Modern Apprentice in August 2015, and earlier this month secured a permanent position after completing her apprenticeship.

Erin said “The apprenticeship gave me an excellent introduction to the different areas of SQA. I had support from staff across the business which made sure I was able to settle in to a working pattern quickly. I worked in a number of different areas of the business which built my confidence and developed my skills. When the permanent position came up, I felt I had the knowledge and experience to successfully apply for the post, and I’m really looking forward to the new challenge.”

The current cohort of modern apprentices include Heather McGill, Andrew Nolan, both based in SQA’s Glasgow offices, and Paul McGuire, and Sara Lech, who are located at the office in Dalkeith.

Sara, who is currently working with SQA’s Human Resources team, said “It’s been really interesting to learn about a career in HR, but it has also been a great way to move from school to working full time. As well as working at SQA, I’m studying for my HNC in Business Administration at Milton Road College every Tuesday.”

Recently, SQA took on its first specialist Modern Apprentice, Anna-Mariya Skrupska, who will be working on a Digital Media Modern Apprenticeship assisting with the development of digital learning and assessment materials.

Raymond Holloway, Organisational Development Manager at SQA, said: “Our Modern Apprenticeship programme is successful because we offer meaningful on-the-job training, plus the opportunity to complete high-value vocational qualifications. As a result most of our apprentices have gone on to secure permanent positions either with SQA, or with other employers.”

Maidie Cahill, Director of Corporate Services at SQA, added: “Our qualifications are at the heart of every modern apprenticeship across Scotland, and they give real substance to the training employers across the country provide. We have supported Scottish Apprenticeship Week for a number of years, and the 18 apprentices we’ve trained since 2012 have been fantastic young people to work at our sites in Glasgow and Dalkeith.”

For more information about Modern Apprenticeships at SQA and how to apply for them, visit www.sqa.org.uk/pathways