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EDUCATION & SKILLS


Innovative apprenticeships are delivering SQA qualifications


Across Scotland, innovative Modern Apprenticeship pro- grammes are enabling young people – and the employers and training providers who support them – to continue their train- ing and development despite the challenges the pandemic contin- ues to present. Melrose-based training pro-


vider SDConsultancy is using an online e-portfolio approach that allows apprentices to progress with their SQA qualifications and assessments – key components of the Modern Apprenticeship programme. Director Sarah Dalrymple says


that in the current climate, ap- prenticeships are more important than ever. She adds: “We believe that


Modern Apprentices need to be at the heart of economic recovery. We have the most amazing op- portunity to work with employers and candidates just now, to really bring the value of adapted train- ing and development into focus. “With the adaptations to remote


observations using digital plat- forms, we were able to efficiently proceed with our ‘new’ form of delivery.” Tis approach has allowed the


Modern Apprentices undertaking Management, and Digital Market- ing programmes to continue their training during lockdown. In video calls with Sarah Dalrymple, the apprentices discuss the practi- cal aspects of their courses, which they will undertake when they are able to return to work. Collaboration with employ-


ers and training providers is not just at the heart of the Modern Apprenticeship programme but is also fundamental to Scotland’s Foundation Apprenticeships. A new Foundation Apprenticeship programme has recently been launched by SQA and Skills De- velopment Scotland (SDS). Around 30 schools, colleges, and


SQA has recently recruited six


Modern Apprentices


training providers across Scotland are involved in the initial pilot, which will see pupils in S3 to S6 work towards new SQA quali- fications at Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) Levels 4 and 5. Te pupils will also complete


a work-based challenge unit by partnering with a local employer to design, develop, and deliver a project. Fife College is offering the new


qualifications and Assistant Princi- pal Iain Hawker says that over 100 local young people are set to benefit from the programme this year. Hawker adds: “Te Foundation


Apprenticeship is a brilliant way for pupils to develop technical and meta skills as part of their school timetable. Achieving the qualifications and engaging with employers at an early stage in their learning will mean that whatever they choose to do after school, the transition will be easier for them.” Not only tasked with supporting young people working across the


country, SQA has committed to further developing its own work- force and recently recruited six school leavers to join its own Mod- ern Apprenticeship programme. Sarah Anne Rooney, SQA


Employee Development Pro- gramme Manager, says that it is important that SQA continues to offer apprenticeship training op- portunities. She adds: “Our Modern Ap-


prenticeship programme helps young people develop transfer- able skills in an interesting and supportive environment. Tey also gain a Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) in Busi- ness and Administration, which demonstrates to future employers that their skills meet a national standard.” As an employer offering


work-based qualifications, SQA recognises the importance of sup- porting businesses and training providers to deliver them safely. SQA is working with sector bod- ies to minimise the impact of the


FUTURESCOT | WINTER 2020/21 | 53


pandemic on candidates’ learning and SQA Regional Managers are in regular contact with training providers. l


Information on how SQA is supporting the delivery of vocational qualifications can be found at www.sqa.org.uk/ etpsupport


For more information on the new Foundation Apprenticeships pilot, please contact workbasedlearning@sqa.org.uk.


Information on SQA qualifications that underpin Modern Apprenticeships, Foundation Apprenticeships, and Graduate Apprenticeships, can be found at www.sqa.org.uk/apprenticeships


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