Call for more young people to pursue apprenticeships

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The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Scotland is urging young people and parents to consider an apprenticeship as a way to work, learn, and earn on the way to gaining high-performing and highly qualified jobs.

The call comes as ICE Scotland encourages and supports Scottish Apprenticeship Week (March 6-10) with a series of events and activities promoting civil engineering and the apprenticeship route to qualification.

Sara Thiam, ICE Scotland director, said: “An engineering apprenticeship offers the opportunity to work in an exciting industry, gain a recognised qualification and develop professional skills, all while earning a salary.

“In addition, a company taking on an apprentice grows their business and develops their skills base by investing in talent while helping strengthen the economy of Scotland by creating the much-needed civil engineers of the future.”

Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2017 focuses on the benefits apprenticeships bring to young people, businesses, and the wider economy.

ICE is playing its part by featuring the personal stories of Scotland’s civil engineering apprentices, attending careers fairs across Scotland, and organising hands-on activities with school pupils, such as constructing a bridge at their school.

The week will help dispel some of the myths about apprenticeship including the perception that it is somehow a lesser route to full-time study at university. Apprenticeships offer young people the opportunity to work, learn and earn, all at the same time, and still achieve the goal of becoming whatever they want, without the burden of student debt.

ICE provides financial assistance for young people in college through their annual QUEST scholarship and the Into Civil Engineering Award.

Sara Thiam added: “Continued support for apprenticeships from government is welcome, but it is important apprenticeship schemes in engineering are of a good quality and provide access to professional qualifications, such as the industry standard Engineering Technician qualification.

“Schools in Scotland are increasingly playing their part by encouraging take-up of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths (STEM) subjects and improving careers guidance.”