To mark National Apprenticeship Week, ICE Scotland are today taking part in an event to meet pupils who are celebrating completion of the first year of a pilot foundation apprenticeship in civil engineering, at an event held at the Forth Crossing Education Centre.
The young people are encouraging others thinking of a career in civil engineering to follow their lead.
The Foundation Apprenticeship is the first of its kind in civil engineering and has provided these young people with the opportunity to gain valuable work experience and industry-recognised qualifications alongside Highers and Advanced Highers and the opportunity to complete the first year of a Modern Apprenticeship whilst still in full-time education.
The apprenticeship has already been recognised as a formal route into a professional career by industry bodies including ICE and the Civil Engineers Contractors Association (CECA). The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and Skills Development Scotland worked with local employers, schools and colleges to develop the Foundation Apprenticeship. At present West Lothian and Inverness Colleges offer the courses and pupils from Carluke and West Lothian were at the event.
Speaking at the event, Sara Thiam, Director ICE Scotland, said: "A high quality engineering apprenticeship is a gateway to a diverse and rewarding career which can result in young men and women reaching the top. ICE welcomes aspiring professional engineers and technicians on apprenticeships into our membership and supports them throughout their career progression.
"The political support for new apprenticeships, and the growing interest from employers, is promising. But quality is the key here – schemes must be set to rigorous standards so apprentices are equipped to progress on the career ladder and go onto achieve a recognised professional qualification. It is also important that schools are properly resourced with careers guidance so young people are aware of all the engineering career paths available to them."