This week marks Scottish Apprenticeship Week; a reminder that apprenticeships give young people valuable work experience and the opportunity to achieve a recognised qualification, as well as being beneficial for businesses and the Scottish economy.
Scottish law firm Brodies has been running a modern apprenticeships programme since 2014; last year four of its apprentices completed the programme and secured permanent roles within the firm.
Hannah Chalmers, 19, joined Brodies in June 2016 on a business and admin apprenticeship that she secured through You Train, one of Brodies' training partners. Hannah was placed in the debt recovery team where she received support and guidance from her line manager, in addition to continuous mentoring and assessments from You Train. Six months later, Hannah completed her apprenticeship and decided to pursue paralegal training, again within the debt recovery team. She is due to complete her studies later this year and is already considering a part time course in law at university.
Hannah said: "I signed up with You Train who placed me with Brodies. I had no idea that I would end up at a law firm, but once I settled in I really enjoyed the fast-paced environment of working in the debt recovery team and realised that I could join the firm on a permanent basis and develop my skills further.
"It was Brodies that really encouraged me to push forward with my personal development and to pursue a paralegal qualification after I completed the business and admin training. They saw potential in me and helped me to consider my options and complete the application process."
Liam MacDonald, 22, joined Brodies in August 2015 through another of Brodies' training partners, QA, to complete his Information Technology & Telecommunications Professional qualification. Working on the IT helpdesk quickly gave Liam a solid understanding of the firm's systems, and with support from his senior colleague and line manager in the team, as well as mentoring and continuous assessments from QA, he completed his apprenticeship in August 2017. Liam was then offered a permanent full time role with Brodies as an IT support analyst and is now working as a network administrator on the infrastructure team, ensuring that the network for the firm's 600+ employees is structurally sound and secure.
Liam said: "The modern apprenticeship gave me an opportunity to be trained on the job, and working on the IT helpdesk, dealing with day-to-day queries from colleagues, quickly gave me an understanding of Brodies' systems and made me realise I wanted to stay with the firm permanently."
Kirstie Maclennan, director of human resources and development at Brodies added: "Modern apprenticeships are mutually beneficial for both young people and businesses; they give individuals the opportunity to experience work-based learning and are a valuable means for Scottish businesses to find talented young people to add to their workforces. Hannah and Liam are both prime examples of how an apprenticeship programme can help to develop potential and open up new career possibilities."
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