One of the principle aims of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s apprenticeship pathway is to get young people in the Western Isles into permanent employment.
21-year-old Iona Macleod is an example of the pathway’s success, Iona recently completed her Social Services, Children and Young People apprenticeship at SCQF Level 7 and has been offered a permanent position working at the Stornoway Childcare Centre.
Iona Macleod said: “As a care experienced young person, leaving school I benefited greatly from the support of the employability pipeline. Before I began my apprenticeship, I first came for a placement to see if it was what I wanted to do, after my placement I was offered an apprenticeship. Saying yes to this was the best decision I have ever made.
It was great learning whilst working at the same time as I found it easier to study for my apprenticeship this way. My plan for the future is to further my knowledge, experiences and skills by applying to do a degree or diploma in Childcare. I am now a busy mum of one living independently with so many options for the future.”
Iona's former assessor, Maggie Drummond said: "I am so proud of Iona and her achievements. It was great being part of her journey and watching her grow in confidence. She has come a long way from when I first met her and it has been a pleasure seeing her achieve her dream of being a qualified childcare worker, secure a job she loves and be a mum herself."
David Gibson, Lead Social Worker for the Western Isles, said: “The Comhairle’s apprenticeship pathway offers a range of opportunities in a variety of sectors. It is fantastic to see young people in the Western Isles be given an opportunity to achieve their goals and enter full time employment. There is no doubt that Iona, having been supported through the employability programmes by the accredited training team and with years of practical experience will make a fantastic addition to Stornoway Childcare Centre. Congratulations to Iona and all our other apprentices progressing to full time employment.”