First steps to work while still at school

Connor McIntosh and Courtney Fleming learn more about the programme
Connor McIntosh and Courtney Fleming learn more about the programme

Pioneering approach at Glenrothes school

Pupils at Auchmuty have been chosen to take part in a project that will see them complete ‘core’ elements of apprenticeships while still in school.

Auchmuty High is one of six Fife schools set to start the engineering-focused pathfinder as part of a groundbreaking new approach to work-based learning.

And around 50 pupils in their fifth or sixth year at the Kingdom’s schools will be involved.

The project is being developed by Skills Development Scotland (SDS), sector skills council SEMTA and the Scottish Funding Council alongside local employers, Fife College and Fife Council. The project aims to bring education and employers closer together to better prepare young people for the workplace.

Derek Brown, Fife Council’s head of education, east and Levenmouth, said: “We are ambitious for all our children in Fife and one of our main priorities has been to make sure that all our school leavers go on to positive destinations when they leave school. We have always had very strong links with Fife Colleges and this programme has helped us to strengthen these further.”

Pupils will complete the ‘core’ elements of apprenticeships in school during two half days or one evening a week at Fife College over two years.

Janet McCauslin, Fife College’s, director of projects, said: “This is a pioneering approach that is very much welcomed by the college and key sector employers in Fife.

“This national pathfinder project will benefit young people, employers and the wider Fife economy. The young people taking part are the engineers, technicians and professionals of the future.”

The move builds on the success of the Modern Apprenticeship Programme which has created more than 77,000 opportunities in the past three years.

Pupils from Queen Anne, Buckhaven, Kirkcaldy, Kirkland and Lochgelly High Schools are also taking part in the pilot.

Director of service design & innovation at SDS Jonathan Clark said: “This new approach gives young people the opportunity to get to grips with the very foundation of apprenticeships.”