A TEENAGER who is engineering a bright future in her chosen career is encouraging others to consider becoming an apprentice.

Emily Ritchie is giving her support to Scottish Apprenticeship Week, which is organised by Skills Development Scotland (SDS).

The 17-year-old Barrhead High pupil wants to pursue a future in engineering after experiencing work-based learning with Paisley-based City Gate Construction.

Emily chose a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of her school subjects, meaning she attends West College Scotland, in Paisley, whilst also completing her work placement.

She said: “School can teach you about how the workplace might be. However, the Foundation Apprenticeship has given me the opportunity to experience it first-hand.

“It’s helped me realise that civil engineering is what I want to do with my life.”

Foundation Apprenticeships give young people in S5 and S6 the opportunity to gain a nationally-recognised qualification, at the same level as a Higher.

Now in S6, Emily has embraced all aspects of her civil engineering Foundation Apprenticeship and said she would highly recommend it to other pupils.

She added: “During my time on site, I was introduced to all aspects of civil engineering but, more importantly, everyone at City Gate Construction was really welcoming.

“I’m quite a nervous person, so actually experiencing a workplace has shown me I have nothing to worry about when I leave school.”

Andy Corbett, one of Emily’s lecturers at West College Scotland, is encouraging schools and parents to embrace Foundation Apprenticeships.

He said: “They are a fantastic opportunity for a young person to develop a career path.

“Emily is nearly at the end of her Foundation Apprenticeship journey but she has been an absolute joy to work with.

“The standard of work she’s produced throughout her time here has been excellent.”

Damien Yeates, SDS chief executive, added: “Young people like Emily show how work-based learning is providing the skills needed for a successful Scotland.”

For more information, visit apprenticeships.scot