Teenager Lucy Gallagher got the chance to get her foot in the door at a world-leading technology firm thanks to her Foundation Apprenticeship.
Now, more doors are opening for the 17-year-old pupil at St Ambrose High School in Coatbridge.
Lucy chose a Business Skills Foundation Apprenticeship in fifth year alongside her other subjects so she could get relevant experience towards her dream job in procurement.
Now in her second year of her Foundation Apprenticeship, Lucy’s getting work experience at world-leading technology firm, Dell UK.
She said: “Going to university wasn’t for me. I wanted to go straight into work. A Foundation Apprenticeship let me see how I would get on in a work environment and lead to a qualification.”
Lucy, from Baillieston, heard about Foundation Apprenticeships at a careers presentation during school assembly.
She explained: “The teacher talked about a range of career options and Foundation Apprenticeships really stood out.”
Lucy went on to the apprenticeships.scot website to find out more and see what Foundation Apprenticeships were available near her.
After registering online for Business Skills, she went to Glasgow Kelvin College who accepted her on interview.
Doing the apprenticeship alongside her Highers was straightforward.
Lucy said: “My school was able to manage my timetable for fifth and sixth year so I could fit in all the subjects I wanted to do.
“College work is managed step-by-step to make sure it’s not too difficult and in the second year there’s a focus on the work placement.”
Dell UK has offered her a job through a Modern Apprenticeship with the prospect of staying on to gain a degree with a Graduate Apprenticeship.
At Dell UK, Lucy has been working on a variety of projects which are designed to increase her knowledge of the business and position her for a role in sales support at the end of her apprenticeship. She says: “The environment is not what I expected.
“I thought it would be quiet and formal but there’s so many different things happening; like days out of the office and activities to keep you motivated.
“I love being in Dell and it’s been brilliant to get insight into the work environment through my Foundation Apprenticeship.”
“I get treated like any other member of staff and trusted with my own projects. Just like all new Dell employees, I had to give a pitch presentation to a group, which was fantastic experience.”
Varry McMenemy from Dell said: “We are thrilled to have Lucy and four other Foundation Apprentices within our team. It’s a privilege to be able to support them on their learning journey and to have them contribute to our business at such an early point in their careers.”
Lucy added: “It blows my mind that others don’t take a Foundation Apprenticeship.
“I would recommend a Foundation Apprenticeship to everyone; there’s so many different types that people can take.
“Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship has built my confidence and given me a secure future.”
Foundation Apprenticeships have been developed by Skills Development Scotland in partnership with industry and supported by the European Social Fund.
Foundation Apprenticeships are open to pupils in S5 and S6, usually take two years to complete and result in a qualification at the same level as a Higher. The Foundation Apprenticeship combines learning at college and work-based learning with a relevant employer.