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Visit Scotland | Alba
Article published 04/03/2024

It's Scottish Apprenticeship Week which is a nationwide celebration of apprenticeships. The week, co-ordinated by Scotland’s skills agency Skills Development Scotland takes place from 4 - 8 March 2024.

We've been talking to our Modern Apprentices past and present and they've been sharing their experiences. Meet Chloe Ritchie and Finlay Tait.

Apprentice week graphic

Chloe Ritchie (Assistant Procurement Manager)

Chloe Ritchie

Can you tell us about the apprenticeship you completed?

I joined VisitScotland in 2018 completing a Modern Apprenticeship in Procurement. I completed a year course with the city of Glasgow College doing an SVQ in Procurement then another year completing the first level of CIPS.

How would you sum up your apprenticeship experience at VisitScotland?

Challenging but rewarding! It was a lot of work in a short space of time along with loads of other training sessions within VisitScotland.

There was so much to get up to speed with however, getting in an established organisation, while learning and qualifying while being paid was such an incredible way to start a lifelong career.

What has your VisitScotland journey looked like since completing your apprenticeship?

I completed my apprenticeship in 2020. I then got a permanent position within VisitScotland as a Procurement Executive which helped develop my skills more and allowed me to get involved in more complex Procurement activity.

In 2021 I applied for a role in the Cycling World Championship team as an Assistant Procurement Manager and got it! It was an incredible experience with so much opportunity to learn and be involved in such an exciting project. Now that Cycling Worlds Championship has come to an end, I am now back with VisitScotland as Assistant Procurement Manager.

Overall, it’s been a busy few years and I really look forward to whatever comes next!

Would you recommend competing a modern apprenticeship?

Absolutely! I was a bit older when I done my apprenticeship – at 21 I had tried the university and college routes and it just didn’t suit my way of learning.

I recommend apprenticeships to anyone leaving school or if you are a bit older and thinking about how to start in a career. The ability to learn and get qualifications, while getting hands on work experience and getting paid is a no brainer for me!

Starting with VisitScotland is the best decision I have ever made and will always be thankful for the opportunities I’ve had here.

Finlay Tait (User Support Engineer)

Finlay Tait

Can you tell us about the apprenticeship you completed?

I completed the "Information Technology and Telecommunications Level 6" apprenticeship and it took about eight months to complete. The qualification was technical in nature and was completed within working hours, there was no final exam and it was entirely evidence based.

I am now completing the "IT Support SCQF Level 8" apprenticeship. This is the next level up from my previous apprenticeship and the equivalent of an HND. It’s the same format as the last however more tailored to my job role.

I am enjoying the process and looking forward to completing it by the end of the year.

 

How would you sum up your apprenticeship experience at VisitScotland?

My time as an apprentice was very rewarding, all my team were willing to spend the time needed to bring me up to speed and ensure I was the best I could be.

The rest of VisitScotland staff were also very accommodating when I was still learning and, in some instances, showed a great deal of patience.

What has your VisitScotland journey looked like since completing your apprenticeship?

After completing my first apprenticeship, I was made a junior in the team, and I am now a User Support Engineer. At their core all roles are the same but with increasing responsibility and accountability.

Would you recommend competing a modern apprenticeship?

100 percent. 

If your job does not need a degree (I don’t think anyone wants operated on by an apprentice) it's the best route into the workplace. If you start when you are 18, you’ve already got four years under your belt by the time your mates finish university and you were earning a wage the whole time.

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