Supporting Scottish Modern Apprenticeship Week 2015

Scottish Modern Apprenticeship Week 2015


Sandy Macdonald

22nd May 2015 at 1:06pm

Scottish Modern Apprenticeship Week 2015

I had the pleasure of taking part in STV Edinburgh’s Fountainbridge Show to talk about the launch of Scottish Modern Apprenticeships Week 2015 which runs from 18-22 May.

Investing in future talent

I was approached by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) because they wanted to give an employer’s perspective on the benefits apprenticeships bring to businesses, individuals and the economy.

Despite being camera shy I jumped at the opportunity. Investing in future talent is very important to me.


Meeting the team

I’d been on TV once before but this would be my first ever live discussion so I was a little nervous. But Kirsteen Campbell from SDS and the STV team helped me feel at ease.
It was also great to meet some young people getting really rewarding work experience at STV. Scott, one of the assistants, who’s studying media at Stirling University, handed me a script showing two questions I was going to be asked. I’d just planned my answers and was beginning to feel relaxed when presenter Ewen Cameron said:

“Don’t worry about that script, I never stick to that – I’m just as likely to ask you what you did at the weekend.”

It’s easy to see why Ewen has succeeded in what he does, he’s very natural with his banter, really friendly and easy to talk to.

A slick operation

We were seated on the sofa, miked up and before I knew it we were talking live. Our three minute chat was over and they’d already cut to the next feature!


Hopefully we managed to get across our main messages:

Modern apprenticeships come in every shape

There’s a huge range of opportunities – not just in the traditional professions.

Young people need support to get into work

Standard Life supports the Edinburgh Guarantee Scheme, Modern Apprenticeships, graduate schemes. All are great ways to recruit diverse talent into our business. Different routes are better for different people.

Modern apprenticeships are a great option

A great route for some young people because they offer a chance to earn money while gaining confidence, skills and qualifications. We pay everyone who works for us – including interns and apprentices – at least the UK Living Wage). Some young people can’t contemplate university and possible debt. Modern apprenticeships offer a way to get a recognised qualification.

The Standard Life way

It makes sense for us at Standard Life to develop and build confidence, skills and knowledge that will help our employees do great work for us and give great service to our customers.

The more they’re engaged, the more likely they are to stay with us.

We’ve helped 350 young people achieve modern apprenticeships so far, and have 50 people doing one right now, mainly in customer service, IT, management, and finance and business administration.

Thanks STV

With the cameras no longer rolling on us, Ewen offered me a high-five and a ‘man-hug’ on my way out, which I graciously accepted.

For great insight from one of our young women who chose a modern apprenticeship in IT, read Rachel’s story.

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