University just one of many routes to a good job

‘Apprenticeships are changing’ is the message behind this year’s Scottish Apprenticeship Week, which runs from 6-10 March. Work based learning is all important for civil engineers, who design, build and maintain our bridges, roads and railways, flood protection, energy networks, water treatment and sewers.

Find out what apprenticeships have to offer.
Find out what apprenticeships have to offer.

Director of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Scotland, Sara Thiam, 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.

"A company taking on an apprentice develops their skills base and grows their business by investing in talent. They are also helping strengthen Scotland's economy by creating the much-needed civil engineers of the future."

Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2017 gives an opportunity to share the benefits for young people, businesses and the wider economy and includes events across Scotland. ICE will play its part by featuring the personal stories of Scotland's civil engineering apprentices, attending careers fairs across Scotland and organising hands on activities including our popular Bridges to Schools with school pupils.

The week will help dispel some of the myths about apprenticeship including the perception that it is somehow a lesser route than full-time study at university. There are lots of different options with some colleges trialling foundation apprenticeships in civil engineering for young people still at school. School leavers have the choice of modern apprenticeships and new degree level apprenticeships are due to be launched later this year.

Apprenticeships offer young people the chance to work, learn and earn and still progress to the highest levels in their chosen profession, without the burden of student debt.

ICE Scotland 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.