A Glenrothes teenager who has secured a job offer in his dream career is being celebrated on Scottish Apprenticeship Week.
Joe Pirrie, a pupil at Glenrothes High School, was ready to give up on school, but is now Head Boy thanks to a Foundation Apprenticeship.
Having to manage Dyslexia and Dyspraxia meant the 16-year-old struggled with some aspects of school and was considering leaving, but when he about the Foundation Apprenticeship in Children and Young People through Fife Council as a subject choice in fifth year, he jumped at the chance to try his chosen career.
Foundation Apprenticeships give senior pupils the opportunity to get out of the classroom and get work-based learning, to gain a qualification at the same level as a Higher.
Joe explained: “I have always wanted to work with children and was planning to leave school after fourth year and study early learning and childcare at college. One of the head teachers spoke to my mum about Foundation Apprenticeships.
“When my mum told me about Foundation Apprenticeships I was really keen because I would get the chance to try the job in a real working environment and get a qualification before leaving school.”
Staying on at school has paid dividends for Joe, who believes the Foundation Apprenticeship has helped to improved his confidence, and made him think differently about school.
Now in the second year of his apprenticeship, Joe is gaining work experience at Little Einsteins Nursery whilst taking Nationals in Media Studies and Modern Studies.
Joe’s enthusiasm and love for his work experience is already making a difference to the business, with the nursery looking to implement his idea to make mealtimes better for the children.
Joe explained: “When the children were asked what they wanted to eat for lunch, I noticed they would choose the food that sounded appealing, but many would prefer the other option when they saw it. So, I suggested creating a picture menu of the meals, to help them decide.”
The team at Little Einsteins have been impressed with Joe and manager Emma Bell has already provisionally offered him a job at the nursery when he leaves school.
Emma said: “We jumped at the chance to take on Joe, as we want to encourage more men into the industry. Male members of staff are good role models for the boys at the nursery as well as creating a better balance in the team. Foundation Apprenticeships are a real chance to attract more young men into childcare jobs.”