A Johnstone High pupil has told of his plans to take an alternative route to university as pupils in Renfrewshire receive their exam results today.

Owen McCarrey is starting as a graduate apprentice in business because he wants to learn on the job.

He told The Gazette: "I will be able to grow my skills working four days a week and also learn the theory on Fridays as day release to university.

The Gazette:

"I will be learning, earning and putting my theory into practice before I have finished my degree."

Owen's love of business began after he took the subject in third year, but it flourished when he joined a Young Enterprise initiative where he won a Managing Director of the Year award.

He explained: "There were 16 of us involved in the Young Enterprise challenge and we decided to make our own sustainable product using old t-shirts to create tote bags because it would help get rid of plastic bags, re-use something that might otherwise have been discarded and there was little cost to making them.

The Gazette:

"We did really well and ended up winning six out of seven awards at the Renfrewshire finals and got four national awards at the Scottish finals, including the Managing Director award I received.

"I got the chance to do the Young Enterprise challenge because I stayed on for sixth year, and it really helped me decide that I wanted a career in business. Before, I had been considering computing, but I feel like I’ve made the right choice.

"I like business because everything is always changing. You are never doing the same thing twice and everything links together. It’s also all about people. I really enjoy talking to people, working with people. I am a real people person."

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Owen said his teachers have been vital in helping him into his chosen career.
And he wants to encourage more pupils to think about alternative pathways, like apprenticeships.

He added: "Don't go with the normal. There is more than just going to university or college. There are plenty of apprenticeships out there and always something that will work for you. It can feel scary but go for it. I can’t think of anything better to go for."

Johnstone High School achieved a gold ambassador award for their work to equally promote academic and vocational career pathways, such as going to university or college, starting up an apprenticeship or going into the workplace.