The group of young apprentices, who are studying the ICT Software Foundation Apprenticeship developed by Skills Development Scotland, are working with Servelec one day a week for 12 weeks. They are being guided through their placement by Damian De Luca, who leads the Servelec Digital Academy – an in-house talent programme which is training the software developers of the future – alongside several of its current apprentices. Working in teams of three, the Glasgow apprentices have been tasked with creating a GP booking system, including the design, layout and front-end development.
Chosen as subjects in S5 or S6, Foundation Apprenticeships at SCQF Level 6 provide school pupils with industry insight and experience of the world of work to gain a qualification at the same level as a Scottish Higher. Delivered by learning providers in partnership with employers, knowledge gained is supported through a series of practical activities including industry projects or work placements undertaken virtually and in person.
Glasgow Kelvin College manages the Foundation Apprenticeship programme on behalf of the Glasgow Regional Colleges and, through this consortium, offers 13 Foundation Apprenticeship subjects at SCQF Level 6 to senior phase pupils from schools across the region. The number of students successfully placed in business-led apprenticeships had been increasing year on year, until the coronavirus pandemic hit in 2020. The impact of Covid has created a challenging environment for businesses, with multiple lockdowns leading to a reduction of onsite apprenticeship positions available. Skills Development Scotland, working with SQA, has enhanced the framework so that students can still gain the apprenticeship award through online placements, and Servelec is pleased to support this.
“As a technology business that cares about doing the right thing, we’re really pleased to give these students this chance to gain some hands-on experience of what it’s like to work in a software business,” comments Damian De Luca, Servelec Digital Academy lead. “We’ve got all the tools in place through our existing academy set up to help train these young people remotely in sought-after digital skills, whilst also providing a positive first experience of the work environment in these unusual times. It’s a pleasure to have them on board and we’re proud to be part of their learning journey.”
Lisa Smith, Foundation Apprenticeship Project Manager at Glasgow Kelvin College, adds: “The opportunity to access a real work setting through placements like this is so important for our students, so we’re really pleased that Servelec is able to support them in this way, joining the ranks of over 85 businesses across our frameworks. Having worked at speed to ensure every student has access to an iPad to continue their learning when Covid hit, it’s great to now see them settled in their placements with Servelec and gaining valuable experience which will set them up for a bright future.”
Tony Minchella, Partnership and Delivery Manager at Skills Development Scotland said: “Foundation Apprenticeships are a work-based learning opportunity for senior phase secondary pupils and are part of our drive to support young people in Scotland – helping to build the skills they’ll need to be successful when they leave school. By closing the gap between the classroom and the workplace, it gives them a chance to get a head start on their careers, which in these times is more important than ever. We’re delighted to have Servelec on board, particularly as digital skills are going to be in such high demand for the next generation workforce.”
Servelec is committed to expanding its work in the communities it serves through its software solutions which support health and social care settings in Scotland. Through its resources and expertise, Servelec aims to improve lives in the community and reduce inequality in technology by providing learning opportunities and mentoring. Digital skills are vital and drive Servelec’s aim of creating technology that matters to improve people’s lives. This project with Glasgow Kelvin College and Skills Development Scotland builds on Servelec’s CSR work in the country, having delivered software skills training to a cohort of students in Dundee in 2019, with further projects to promote digital skills amongst young people in Scotland in development.
Servelec’s Mosaic social care case management system is already well established with several local authorities in Scotland, including Dundee, Dumfries & Galloway, East Lothian, Midlothian and Scottish Borders which have recently renewed their contracts, and it has also been awarded a place on the Scotland Excel social care framework. Its Rio platform also underpins Scotland’s National Child Health Record, with implementation currently underway – creating even more opportunity for deeper integration of health and social care across Scotland.