Hawick teenager Harry Wilson not only has a full-time job, he is also on his way to a degree thanks to the Graduate Apprenticeship (GA) scheme.
The 17-year-old made the decision to leave school at the start of sixth year to join IT company Agenor, where he combines his role as a GA Software Engineer with two days a week at Heriot Watt University studying Software Development.
Harry said: “I’ve always had an interest in computers, so when my parents read online about the opportunity with Agenor I knew I couldn’t pass it up. A Graduate Apprenticeship really is the best of both worlds; I’m getting four years work experience and studying for a degree – all whilst getting paid.”
Harry feels his GA has been the perfect foundation for his career, having been uncertain what route to go down after S5. “I’d got my five Highers and didn’t just want to stay on at school for the sake of it; I was keen to get into the real working world,” he explained.
“A lot of my friends say I’m really lucky because the Graduate Apprenticeship means I don’t have to move away for university, I have a job and get a degree in an area that I now know my future lies in.”
Based in Newton St Boswell, Harry plans to put the theory he learns over the next four years into practice with Agenor.
He said: “As well as getting the experience of attending lectures with hundreds of people, I also get the opportunity to take projects back to my work and develop them. Agenor have been brilliant at allowing me time to focus on the university aspect. I really can’t describe how great a company they are – I hope I’m here for years to come.”
Harry’s manager, Leagh Douglas, said: “He’s settled into the team brilliantly and the work he’s producing is of an excellent standard, so much so we’re considering expanding our Graduate Apprenticeship programme. This would also provide Harry with the potential to expand his skills even further by taking on a mentoring role for a new Graduate Apprentices joining us.”
For further information about how work-based learning could help you, your staff or your business visit Apprenticeships.Scot. For further information about digital skills and careers, visit Digital World.