New apprenticeship opportunities for Midlothian learners with the SQA

Applications are now open for young people to join the Scottish Qualification Authority as a Modern Apprentice.

By Kevin Quinn
Friday, 5th November 2021, 11:21 am
Stock shot of the SQA building at Shawfair Roundabout. Photo by Scott Louden.
Stock shot of the SQA building at Shawfair Roundabout. Photo by Scott Louden.

While at the Scottish Qualification Authority (SQA), the Modern Apprentices will also do a Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) in Business & Administration.

Sarah Anne Rooney, SQA Employee Development Programme Manager, says successful applicants to the programme – which is open to all those aged between 16 and 19, and up to 29 for any care-experienced young people – will be fully supported.

She added: “We want to hear from applicants who are able to tell us that they are keen to learn.

"Whilst at SQA, they will have real responsibilities and be valued team members.

"At the end of their apprenticeship, we want our apprentices to have the experience and confidence to progress in their career or into further, or higher education.”

Visit www.sqa.org.uk/sqamodernapprenticeships. The closing date for applications is November 21.

SQA has recently formalised its commitment to supporting young people as they enter the workforce, by signing up to the Young Person’s Guarantee.

Dawnne Mahmoud, director of People at SQA, explains: “The Young Person’s Guarantee is a fantastic opportunity for employers like SQA to invest in young people. In equipping our Modern Apprentices with valuable skills, we are not only helping them make a significant contribution during their time at SQA, but we are setting them up to thrive in their future career, whatever that may look like.

“Given the challenges caused by the pandemic, it is more important than ever that SQA joins other employers in committing to developing the young workforce.”

Dawnne says adaptations are in place to support Modern Apprentices to allow them to work from home until they can meet their colleagues in person once the Shawfair office re-opens.

She added: “Changing our recruitment process has allowed us to progress with MA recruitment over the past two years.

"We developed a six-week series of virtual workshops to equip the new apprentices with core skills necessary in the world of work, and throughout their induction, our apprentices have regular video calls with colleagues in their business area, as well as with their Mentors.”

Ellie Taylor, who is currently working from home after securing a permanent position at SQA’s Shawfair office, said of the programme: “It allowed me to gain an industry recognised qualification as well as to develop a wide range of new skills – all whilst working from home. SQA’s fantastic support network made me feel so welcome.”