McSense-ible Routes into Work this Scottish Apprenticeship Week

To coincide with the launch of Scottish Apprenticeship Week, Michelle Ballantyne MSP visited social enterprise, McSense, to discuss how to promote apprenticeships in the Borders.

McSense have offices in Midlothian and the Borders. They are a social enterprise that specialises in home care, property maintenance and offering training courses in the area of event management.

This week sees the start of Scottish Apprenticeship Week, a campaign launched by Skills Development Scotland to promote apprenticeships as a route into work.

There are three types of apprenticeships:

  •  Foundation Apprenticeships – For pupils in S5 and S6. They choose this qualification as part of their subject choices and get the chance to work with employers. 
  • Modern Apprenticeships - For anyone who is 16 or above. A modern apprentice is employed and works towards a qualification with a college or learning provider.  
  • Graduate Apprenticeships – For anyone who is 16 or above. A graduate apprentice is employed and works full time while gaining an Honours or Masters degree.

During her visit to McSense in Galashiels, Mrs. Ballantyne discussed how the social enterprise uses modern apprenticeships to recruit young people and help train them, as well as their approach to skills development and training. The South Scotland MSP also spoke to modern apprentices at McSense about the positive experience they’ve had during their apprenticeships.

Mrs Ballantyne discussed with them what changes, if any, they would like to see to the apprenticeship scheme and whether a wider range of opportunities should be introduced to children while they are still at school so that they can fully understand the range of career options available to them.

Borders College has placed a strong emphasis on helping young people into apprenticeships and were recently commended by Education Scotland as the Borders College Business Development Unit (BDU) received a glowing report in a review of their Modern Apprenticeship provision for Social Services (Children and Young People) Awards.

Michelle Ballantyne MSP commented:

“I was delighted to visit McSense in Galashiels. The firm is doing tremendously well in the Borders and it is great to see young apprentices so enthusiastic about their futures.

“The opportunities that apprenticeships can offer are fantastic. I’d like to see more young people pursuing apprenticeships and gaining the skills they really need for the careers they really want. University isn’t the only route to a successful career and I am glad to see some of our school leavers exploring alternative options.

“I would like to wish everyone at the firm the best for the future, as well as Emma and the other apprentices I spoke to, who I hope will go on to enjoy excellent careers with McSense.”