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A pioneering Engineering Systems Foundation Apprenticeship (FA) programme at Paisley campus is setting students on the path to success by bridging the gap between classroom learning and real-world experience.

FA Engineering Systems 1

Rachel Howie, Lewis Watt, and Scott Clark, all 17, are the latest success stories from the FA programme, which equips students with practical skills and hands-on experience in their chosen fields. All three students have successfully secured prestigious Modern Apprenticeships (MA) with leading companies Babcock and BAE.

Rachel Howie, from Clydeview Academy in Gourock is progressing onto a 2-year Modern Apprenticeship with Babcock. Talking about the FA she said, “It’s really helped as it wasn’t stuff that I was doing at school. The ongoing assessments were an easier way to learn instead of final exams and is definitely a lot more practical than school. I’m grateful to my careers advisor who recommended the FA as I hadn’t heard about it before. I’ve always wanted to work in Babcock I can’t wait to start – I would recommend this course, I’ve really enjoyed it.”


Also progressing onto Babcock is Lewis Watt, who will study a 4-year trades apprenticeship in Mechanical Engineering. Lewis, from Our Lady and St Patrick’s High School in Dumbarton, said: “The FA is good because I can apply the engineering side to the apprenticeship and I’ve gained practical experience being able to apply my knowledge.

My FA experience 100% helped during my MA interview as I was able to bring along my work books and talk about the practical and theory aspects of the FA. I think the FA gave me an advantage because I had my foot in the door with experience.”


Scott Clark, currently a student at Inverclyde Academy has successfully secured a 4-year MA with BAE in Naval Ship Design. Scott commented, “I enjoyed the practical and ongoing learning. The course has really helped me to decide that engineering is what I want to do as a career and helped me to figure out which type of engineering I want to go into. I was the first from my school to do an Engineering FA, and I’m really happy I gave it a go.”


Schools Relationship Manager at West, Sharron Rodger commented:

“The Foundation Apprenticeship programmes offer students a valuable mixture of practical and theory learning while gaining hands-on skills during their work experiences. It’s fantastic to see students grow and develop during the course of the FA. Huge well done to Rachel, Lewis and Scott for successfully securing their Modern Apprenticeships, all their hard-work has paid off!”


We wish students the best of luck as they progress onto their chosen Modern Apprenticeships!

Learn more about the Foundation Apprenticeship programmes available at West:  https://www.westcollegescotland.ac.uk/courses/foundation-apprenticeship/foundation-apprenticeships-at-wcs/