Royal Blind pupil banks on new role

Student Scott Hilson and headteacher Elaine Brackenridge
Student Scott Hilson and headteacher Elaine Brackenridge
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A Royal Blind School student has graduated early after securing a highly sought-after apprenticeship at a banking company

Scott Hilson, of Muirhouse in Edinburgh, was due to complete his final year at the Royal Blind School this year. But the 17-year-old has secured a place in TSB’s Local Banker apprenticeship scheme after impressing senior staff during his interview.

Now the teenager, who came to the Royal Blind School aged 12 after his visual impairment caused him to struggle with mainstream schooling, is graduating early to begin his new job.

Scott has nystagmus, a condition that causes his eyes to move involuntarily from side to side.

“I’m really excited to get started,” he said. “It’s a huge decision for me to give up my studies at the Royal Blind School but I think it’s too good an opportunity to pass up.”

The TSB scheme will last for 18 months with Scott based at a branch in Edinburgh to gain experience different roles within his branch, including customer service, personal banking and advising customers on mortgages and loans.

He added: “I know I will miss my friends at the Royal Blind School, but I am really excited to begin work.

“Before I came to the school my confidence levels were extremely low, so it was great to be able to hold my own in a group interview situation and to be selected for a customer facing job.

“I would like to thank my teachers and staff at the Royal Blind School for the amazing support they have given me over the past five years.”

Royal Blind School headteacher, Elaine Brackenridge, said she was “extremely proud” of Scott.

She said: “We will miss Scott’s presence around the school, he is a very bright, hard-working and popular pupil, but he will always be part of the Royal Blind School family.

“I’m sure he will go on to do great things and I wish him all the best in his new career.”

Richard Norton, development manager at TSB, said: “We are passionate about growing our own talent and supporting people to progress their careers, so we are really pleased to be welcoming Scott and all our new apprentices into their roles.”