A pioneering apprenticeship programme is setting students on the path to success by bridging the gap between classroom learning and real-world experience. 

The Engineering Systems Foundation Apprenticeship (FA) programme at West College Scotland's Paisley campus equips students with practical skills and hands-on experience in their chosen fields.

Three students, including one from Dumbarton, have successfully secured prestigious Modern Apprenticeships (MA) with leading companies Babcock and BAE.

Rachel Howie, Lewis Watt and Scott Clark, all 17, highlight the efficacy of the programme.

Lewis, a pupil at Our Lady and St Patrick’s High School, clinched an apprenticeship with Babcock. He will be on a four-year trades apprenticeship in mechanical engineering.

He said: "The FA is good because I can apply the engineering side to the apprenticeship and I’ve gained practical experience being able to apply my knowledge.

"My FA experience 100 per cent helped during my MA interview.

"I think the FA gave me an advantage because I had my foot in the door with experience."

The positive sentiment about the FA was echoed by Scott Clark of Inverclyde Academy, who has earned a four-year MA with BAE in Naval Ship Design.

He said: "I enjoyed the practical and ongoing learning.

"The course has really helped me to decide that engineering is what I want to do as a career and helped me to figure out which type of engineering I want to go into.

"I was the first from my school to do an Engineering FA, and I’m really happy I gave it a go."

Sharron Rodger, schools relationship manager at West, celebrated the accomplishments of the FA students by saying: "The FA programmes offer students a valuable mixture of practical and theory learning while gaining hands-on skills during their work experiences.

"Huge well done to Rachel, Lewis and Scott for successfully securing their MAs, all their hard work has paid off!"

For additional information about the FA programmes, visit West College Scotland's website.