THREE young people are enjoying modern apprenticeships in the science industry after completing a science foundation apprenticeship.

Nicole Ross has landed a job as trainee technician with NHS Lothian’s diagnostics team after completing a foundation apprenticeship at SRUC (Scotland’s Rural College) veterinary services.

Meanwhile, Adam Gillie undertook a foundation apprenticeship at Charles River Laboratories, near Elphinstone, and has now secured a full-time position.

Finally, Lottie Thompson is working full-time in the chemistry department at the University of Edinburgh after completing her foundation apprenticeship there.

Councillor Fiona Dugdale, East Lothian Council cabinet member for education and children’s and family services, felt the success stories were good examples of the benefits of science foundation apprenticeships.

She said: “Foundation apprenticeships offer wonderful opportunities for senior pupils to gain both training and work experience, and I’m delighted to hear of these resulting in permanent jobs and the start of hopefully a fulfilling career.

“Council colleagues in East Lothian Works work closely with a range of local employers and schools to provide such opportunities and it’s so encouraging to hear how much the young people have valued the experience.”

The young people considered the foundation apprenticeships beneficial to their career development.

Nicole, a former pupil at Dunbar Grammar School, said: “The foundation apprenticeship taught me crucial base skills needed to progress in my career.

“Whilst on placement at SRUC vet services, the team were patient and spent their time teaching me core lab skills in various departments, which put me at such an advantage when applying for my current modern apprenticeship with NHS Lothian.

“Having the opportunity to gain lab experience at such an early stage in my career has helped me with all aspects of the work and knowledge needed to succeed and continue to advance, and ultimately led to my full-time employment with NHS Lothian.”

Lottie, who attended Preston Lodge High School, added: “The foundation apprenticeship programme was a great opportunity to develop skills in and around a science lab, learning from experienced technicians.

“As a result of my foundation apprenticeship, I was offered a modern apprenticeship as a laboratory technician in the chemistry teaching labs at Edinburgh University.”

Finally, Adam, who was a pupil at Ross High School, added: “The foundation apprenticeship programme gave me a real insight into working in a professional environment.

“The apprenticeship allowed me to use state-of-the art equipment as well as work with real scientists.

“It helped me gain a full-time position in the Charles River company as an assistant technician through allowing me to showcase my skillset and also develop my skills along the way.

“This has set me up for a promising future in science and I would highly recommend the foundation apprenticeship to any young person looking towards a career in science.”

Employers have also recognised the value the foundation apprenticeships programme offers them within their workforce.

Dr Jennifer Thacker, molecular biology laboratory supervisor, SRUC, said: “SRUC veterinary services has been offering foundation apprenticeship placements for the past four years.

“For six months, students spend two afternoons a week in our biochemistry, microbiology, molecular biology and serology laboratories.

“This provides an opportunity to work alongside experienced scientists, developing an understanding of the background theory to diagnostic testing, the necessary health and safety requirements, and how to follow standard operating procedures.”

For more information about foundation apprenticeships, email foundation apprenticeships@eastlothi