A former Musselburgh Grammar School pupil has reached the final of the Scottish Apprenticeship Awards.

Milo Mitchell has been nominated in the Foundation Apprentice of the Year category at the awards, which are organised by Skills Development Scotland. Milo studied the Business Skills Foundation Apprenticeship while at school alongside his Higher qualifications.

During the course Milo undertook a placement with the council’s employability service, East Lothian Works. There he worked on digital marketing projects, building a Twitter handle database for social marketing and setting out recommendations for a skills development newsletter for teachers and young people.

Career potential

Milo also coordinated marketing activity with industry stakeholders and took part in meetings with travel and technology firms, supporting his employer’s goal of helping other young people fulfil their career potential. 

East Lothian Works Developing Young Workforce Coordinator Elaine Gorman, who was Milo’s business mentor during his Foundation Apprenticeship, said: “Milo’s confidence came on in leaps and bounds and he took every opportunity to ask questions and explore concepts in more depth. He was extremely focused.” 

It is the blend of in-school learning with industry mentoring and experience that makes Foundation Apprenticeships such a unique and powerful curricular offering. Primarily studied over two years, they are equivalent to (SQF Level 6/ A Higher). East Lothian offers five Foundation Apprenticeship frameworks to pupils within the senior phase.

After leaving school Milo’s Foundation Apprenticeship helped him get on to CodeClan’s Summer Youth Academy to study software development, before a paid internship in marketing at a digital design agency. He has since joined investment firm Baillie Gifford as an Intellectual Capital Assistant, securing the role ahead of several university graduates. 

'Tailored to your own development'

Milo said: “The Foundation Apprenticeship was an eye-opening experience - it’s a very proactive way to learn and gave me a clear direction. 

“A Foundation Apprenticeship is tailored to your own development and performance, allowing you to consolidate skills with experiential learning combined with study and reflection. 

“I got the role at Baillie Gifford over several university graduates. It is easy to get caught up in thinking you are limited to opportunities based on your age and type of experience. 

“But the Foundation Apprenticeship enabled me to pioneer my own future and taught me that the only limit is how hard you apply yourself.” 

Core skills and confidence

Musselburgh Grammar School Head Teacher Jodie Hannan said: “Milo was in the first small cohort of pupils who studied the Business Skills Foundation Apprenticeship within East Lothian hosted within Musselburgh Grammar. He was inspired by the practical elements of the course, work placements and his mentors, and by the time he reached S6, was fully engaged with the programme and determined to be successful in this industry. 
“A wide range of employers place great value upon the core skills, confidence and first-hand experience that young people gain from the Foundation Apprenticeship, and how they apply skills learned in school to the workplace. These employability skills are highly desirable for an array of jobs and Milo’s success is proof of this. 
“We are incredibly proud of Milo’s achievements, and are delighted that year on year uptake for the Business Skills FA is increasing. We look forward to seeing many more of our young people achieve the same success in the years ahead.”

This is the second time that an East Lothian pupil has reached the final of the Awards. Annabel Stewart, who undertook a Foundation Apprenticeship in Scientific Technologies during her time at Dunbar Grammar School before securing employment with Charles River, won Foundation Apprentice of the Year at the 2021 Skills Development Scotland Awards.

Foundation Apprenticeships

For more information on Foundation Apprenticeships in East Lothian visit: www.eastlothian.gov.uk/foundationapprenticeships 

Winners will be revealed at the awards, organised by SDS and set to take place during Scottish Apprenticeship Week from 6-10 March. Find out more at: apprenticeships.scot/awards

Published: Friday, 3rd March 2023