Engineering Systems Foundation Apprentice, Harley Higgins has made the final three in the Foundation Apprentice of the Year category at this years Scottish Apprenticeship Awards.
Harley, 18, of Greenock, chose a Foundation Apprenticeship which he completed last year at our Paisley campus whilst still at school as he wanted to work in the Engineering sector. The programme gave him the perfect opportunity to gain on-the-job experience as well as a recognised qualification. It also let him dip his toe in the water to choose between the various pathways of electrical or mechanical engineering.
Having now successful progressed to a Modern Apprenticeship in Multi-skilled Engineering at power supply specialist Aggreko , Harley credits his Foundation Apprenticeship with giving him that extra first step, putting him ahead of the other 300 candidates who were considered for the Modern Apprenticeship programme;
“Being able to talk about my work placement through my Foundation Apprenticeship gave me the edge when I applied for my Modern Apprenticeship. Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship opened my eyes to the opportunities that are available and helped me develop relevant skills and knowledge. It gives you the opportunity to experience the workplace and get involved in it, which was invaluable.”
Harley studied three days a week at West College Scotland Paisley where he learned both practical skills and theory of processes and systems. On his work placement at Aggreko’s Dumbarton base he spent time in different sections of the workshop.
Harley said: “A Foundation Apprenticeships was the best subject choice I made. It boosted my time management, teamwork and communication skills.”
His success means he is now held up by the college as the ‘gold standard’ learner for the next generation of Foundation Apprentices. He gave an online presentation about Foundation Apprenticeships at a recruitment evening and took questions from viewers.
Aggreko Manufacturing Trainer Paul McGarry said: “Apprentices bring massive value to the business - they bring fresh ideas and we mould them into the perfect engineers for Aggreko.
“Harley has a real passion for engineering and clearly has a bright future ahead of him.”
West College Scotland Senior Administrator for Foundation Apprenticeships Ashleigh Bonnar said: “Harley’s confidence has really grown as a result of doing the Foundation Apprenticeship and he learned valuable life and work skills.”
Winners of this years Scottish Apprenticeship Awards will be revealed at tonight’s (8 March) ceremony organised by Skills Development Scotland as part of Scottish Apprenticeship Week, taking place from 6-10 March. Find out more about Foundation Apprenticeships at West College Scotland. Good luck Harley!