VWS apprentice stars on BBC Radio Scotland
As part of the Live from Cumbernauld Edition on BBC Radio Scotland, Stephen Jardine was discussing apprenticeships and their place in a diverse, modern Scotland. He invited VWS’ very own business admin apprentice, Jack McGinley, on to the programme to talk about his experiences as an apprentice, and how the apprenticeship weighed up versus university or college. We’ve captured the conversation for you to read below.
The Stephen Jardine Programme – BBC Radio Scotland 19/05/17
Stephen Jardine – “Now, live with me in Cumbernauld this morning, we’ve got Jack, who’s 18 years old. Morning Jack. Thanks for coming in to see us. Now you are, well, you’re a local here at Cumbernauld, the first local I’ve met here so far this morning, so nice to meet you. Let’s shake hands, nice to meet you.”
Jack McGinley: (laughs) “Nice to meet you.”
SJ: “You’re also an apprentice at the minute. Tell me what you’re doing?”
JM: “Ok. I’m a business admin apprentice for a company called VWS, so I look at the company from start to finish, so every part of the business, I look at.”
SJ: “So, when you were finishing school, were you really clear about what you wanted to do after that?”
JM: “No, not at all. I didn’t actually know until I applied for the job that that’s what I wanted to do. Before, it could have been going to university, could have been going to college, and then I came across it online, and I got on a company called UTrain, so they then… I went for an interview with UTrain and they then, obviously saw me as a candidate, and put me forward for the company, and then I had an interview with the company.”
SJ: “What was it that attracted you about the job?”
JM: “You get paid, obviously, and that’s always a benefit.”
SJ: (Interrupting) “That helps, eh? We like that.”
JM: “So, you get paid, and you’re learning while you’re working, and it’s experience, I think. You need experience, and that’s what companies are looking for, do you know what I mean? They want you to know what you’re doing. I’d always say experience is better than going to university and getting all these qualifications.”
SJ: “It’s that vicious circle when you’re young, isn’t it? People want the experience, but how do you get the experience unless you get a job.”
SJ: “What do you think about this survey that say 70% of school leavers, exactly people your age Jack, believe that apprenticeships are mostly for boys, and not for girls?”
JM: “I disagree with that. I think that if it’s something you want to do, then go out and do it. I think apprenticeships are the best way to go now, just for the fact you are getting experience, and you can get your qualifications. You don’t have to go to university or college to get the qualifications you want. You can just go and work with the company, and they’ll put you through the course. I mean, as I’m doing. I got my business admin level 2. I didn’t have to go to college or university to get that. I just had to go to the company and they put me forward for the course, and I got it. So I think anyone can do it, no matter what your gender is, because I wouldn’t class any job specific to any person. If you’re capable of doing the work, and you want to do the work, then do it. There’s no reason stopping you.”
SJ: “Thinking back to, maybe when you were leaving school, and girls you were at school with, did you see any barriers at all in their expectations. I’m using you… you’re our token young person here today. So thinking back to what they’ve gone on to do, your friends and colleagues from school. Have they followed traditional paths, or are they all doing different things now?”
JM: “I’d say a lot of people followed the traditional paths, and a lot of people, when they got out of school, they were looking to get into university. That’s always, I think, everyone’s aim. They want to be at university, and if they don’t get into university, they go to college. I don’t think a lot of people explored the option of going on an apprenticeship. I think a lot of teachers and that were pushing it, though. I mean it was an option, but a lot of people were just dead certain that ‘I want to go to university, I want to go to college.’ I think a lot of people ended up going to university or going to college, and went down that path, and I think it comes to a point now when they’re going ‘now I need to try and get a job’, so when they’re going to leave university they’re looking for jobs, and it’s hard to do, I think, coming out of university. But, obviously, I found my apprenticeship, so it was a wee bit easier, and I’ve got my qualification and my job now.”
SJ: “When you’re going through education now, do you feel, are your teachers are telling you can do anything? Whether you’re a boy or a girl; the world is your oyster, that there is no job that you cannot do?”
JM: “Yeah, I would say. I don’t think that there’s any teachers or anything who would go against it, or say ‘you can’t do that, you can’t do that.’ I think that if you’ve got the grade, and you’re putting in the work, and they see that that’s what you’re capable of doing, and want to do; they’ll always help you along the way, and they’ll always show you the path, and help you as you go along, to help you to where you want to be.”
SJ: “Jack, you’ve been really helpful. Stay right there this morning, I want to go back to the phone lines…”
You can hear the full show here http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08pj2fv before it expires on the 18th June 2017.
Jack’s interview is from around the 39 minute mark.