David Anderson, Chief Executive of South Ayrshire Council was shadowed by Craig McBlain, Modern Apprentice during Scottish Apprenticeship Week.
South Ayrshire Modern Apprentices have been showing off their skills during Scottish Apprenticeship Week.
All Modern Apprentices joined in, with people getting a real insight into the lives of the apprentices as they followed their daily blog on our website.
Councillor Robin Reid, Resource and Performance Portfolio Holder for the Council said: "Funding comes to the Council through Skills Development Scotland to provide a range of modern and craft apprenticeships. These apprenticeships offer young people the opportunity to gain a recognised qualification through learning at work.
"We are proud of the way in which our modern apprentices apply themselves to learning practical skills and attaining qualifications. They make a real contribution to the Council and help deliver services to the residents across South Ayrshire.
"The qualification they gain on successful completion of their apprenticeship is a strong foundation for their future career and I wish them all well wherever their profession takes them in the future."
Activities in and around Scottish Apprenticeship Week carried out by our Modern Apprentices included:
- Staff and pupils at Southcraig Campus were thrilled with the work carried out by Amenity Horticulture Apprentices to spruce up their Sensory Garden.
- Craft Apprentices helped out with a series of repairs at Carrick Campus in Maybole.
- Administration Apprentices got to see behind the scenes at the recent local authority elections by helping to process postal votes.
- Greenkeeping Apprentices took to the links at Troon Golf to help repair damaged drainage on the fairways.
- Three Apprentices took a day out of their normal work schedule to shadow the Chief Executive and Executive Directors.
- Apprentices welcomed senior school pupils to shadow them in their jobs to experience a day in the life of a Modern Apprentice
- A Care Apprentice learned more about safe moving and handling techniques when she shadowed the Council's Moving and Handling Advisor at South Lodge Care Home.
- Ayr Grammar Primary School welcomed Apprentices to their World of Work assemblies to let pupils hear about the diverse roles they perform.
- Apprentices worked with the catering team in the canteen at County Buildings.
- Two of our apprentices gained valuable interview experience by participating in mock interviews on a Recruitment and Selection course for managers.
- Greenkeeping Modern Apprentices designed an interactive webpage for colleagues from across the globe to share information and ideas.
Here are comments from some of the Modern Apprentices:
Craig McBlain, Business and Administration Modern Apprentice spent two days with the David Anderson, Chief Executive afterwards he said: "I was very excited when I was chosen to shadow David Anderson, Chief Executive, as I am aware of the importance of his role within South Ayrshire Council. When we first arranged to meet, I was asked if I would like to accompany him to a meeting in Edinburgh later that day. I knew what a big opportunity this was and I was very pleased to be asked along. I was a bit nervous before I went into the meeting, as I knew that everything I heard and seen would be treated with the strictest of confidence but I really enjoyed the experience and learned a lot from it.
"David was very welcoming, and was interested to hear about the kind of things that I did in my placement, and what my qualification involved. I came away from the experience with a much better understanding of the work of the Council, and also that my role in the organisation was just as important as everyone else's."
Lisa McKeown, Business and Administration Modern Apprentice who spent the day with Eileen Howat, Executive Director for Corporate Services at County Buildings said: "My Modern Apprenticeship placement is within Finance, based at Burns House in Ayr. When the opportunity came up to shadow Eileen Howat, Executive Director of Corporate Services, I thought it would be a great opportunity to learn more about the directorate that I worked in.
"When I arrived at the County Buildings, Eileen showed me around and I met lots of people including colleagues from Finance, Managers and Heads of Service. Back in her office, I was surprised at how busy it gets, with people dropping in all the time to ask questions or have meetings about all sorts of different things. I hadn't realised quite how many service areas fell under Corporate Services, and it was really interesting to learn about them all. In the afternoon, we worked together on some Elected Members information which I then distributed to each Group, and I met some of the Councillors as well. She has also invited me to come back to County Buildings to attend a Panel meeting with her, so that I can see what that involves.
"I really enjoyed my day with Eileen at the County Buildings, and it's really opened my eyes to all the different areas of the Council that I might like to work in, in the future."
Stewart Calderwood, Craft Apprentice Electrician, who spent the day with Lesley Bloomer, Executive Director Development and Environment said: "Being given the opportunity to shadow Lesley, who is the Executive Director for the service area I work in, was a great experience for me, and I learned a lot from it. I was quite nervous when I arrived at the County Buildings, my work is usually very hands on, and I'm out and about all the time doing repairs at houses and other Council premises so it felt strange to be arriving in a suit. During my day with Lesley, I attended lots of meetings and got a much better understanding of all the different work that is carried out across Development and Environment. I met lots of people whose names I recognised, but I wouldn't usually get the chance to meet and everyone was very friendly and welcoming. It also gave me the opportunity to tell Lesley about the work that I've been involved in, and how I'd been getting on with my College work."
The Council currently has Modern Apprentices within administration, customer services, land based industries such as horticulture and greenkeeping, health and social care and construction trades. New opportunities are advertised in the local job centres and on our website as they arise.
David Anderson, Chief Executive said: "I was very impressed with the professional and enthusiastic way in which the Modern Apprentice who shadowed me embraced the experience. It was great to hear about his experiences within the Council and listen to his views on a wide range of topics. He accompanied me to many things including a meeting with COSLA and one with the Scottish Youth Parliament Elections Commission."
Modern Apprentices are recruited throughout the year, with times varying depending on the type of apprenticeship. For more information about how to become a modern apprentice in South Ayrshire log on to www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk/modernapprentices