Modern Apprentice Case Studies for Skills Development Scotland


27th October 2016

Quest are a private company who, among many other things, have been involved in the Modern Apprentice programme in conjunction with SQA and SDS for several years. Throughout that time, we have helped 100’s of young people achieve academic and professional success by studying for SVQs in Business & Administration at Level 2 and 3 and also go on to full-time, permanent positions with a wide variety of employers, in both the public and private sector. This is a very small number of examples of those candidates.
The Candidates

Darryl McDonald, Dundee City Council
Darryl joined Dundee City Council in March 2015 on a 2-year contract in the Town Planning Department as an Admin Assistant as part of a very busy team. As part of her apprenticeship, Darryl started on her Level 2 SVQ in Business & Administration, with a plan to progress to Level 3. Previously to joining the Council, Darryl had completed her 6th year studies at school and had then taken a year out, working in part-time jobs in retail. Having proved an outstanding candidate and employee, Darryl soon successfully progressed to her Level 3 SVQ and now has a permanent position with the Council as a Building Quality Admin Assistant, well before the end of her 2-year contract.

Darryl herself told Quest: The apprenticeship and SVQ “helped me have a proper career within the Council and I was able to leave retail work, which I had no interest in. It helped me realise how you can work, learn and earn money together.”

Reece Evans, Hutchison Technologies, Dundee
Reece joined Hutchison Technologies in May 2014, on a year’s temporary contract, one of the UK’s leading suppliers and installers of high quality audio-visual, telecom and datacom equipment to the health, fitness and hospitality industries as a team member with Linzi Marshall, sales manager. Reece was to work with her assessor, Neil Mason, on her Level 2 SVQ over the next year.

Prior to this, Reece had left school and had been working at Segafredo Café in Ninewells Hospital. Over the next months, Reece developed her skills and confidence and helped, among many other duties, her manager organise events for Hutchison Technologies, involving airline, train travel and hotel accommodation on a national scale for an event in Dundee. After the successful conclusion of her SVQ, Reece is now working as a full time permanent sales administrator with Hutchison Technologies.

She commented to Neil: “The Apprenticeship and SVQ has helped my career by giving me extra time and a lot of training on the skills I required as a sales administrator for Hutchison Technologies. Doing the apprenticeship and SVQ has improved my communication skills with others/working as a team, in taking and making outgoing calls and providing me with better typing/preparation skills to send customers emails. This training has given me a big confidence boost and I’m feeling more comfortable/confident in my job role.”
Ellie Scott, Quality Assured Property Management, Dundee
Ellie joined QAPM, a building repair and maintenance company with a diverse range of clients throughout Dundee and Tayside, as an administrative assistant in a very busy finance team in October 2014, initially on a 1-year contract. Ellie had left school and had no permanent position and had been helping out at QAPM on an ad hoc basis and in the holidays and Quest were asked to provide support to her for a Level 2 SVQ, which we were delighted to do. When she started, Ellie was a junior, inexperienced member of a small team, but over the next few months as the team grew, Ellie became one of the more experienced members of the team and Quest were again approached to help Ellie to her Level 3 after she successfully completing her Level 2. Ellie very recently completed her Level 3 and is still at QAPM, but is now with a permanent contract and an invaluable member of the team.
Ellie said that the apprenticeship and SVQ helped her with her “career as I have been able to carry out tasks in work which I could relate to my SVQ. It has helped with my confidence and has helped to learn more about my job.”
Laurie Innes, Dundee City Council
“Prior to starting my apprenticeship in June 2015, I had completed my first year studying Psychology at the University of Dundee and had begun my second year before I decided to take a leave of absence in November 2014 to try and pursue other options. I had heard of Dundee City Council’s Modern Apprentice programme from family and friends of mine and so I began to apply for available posts, which ultimately resulted in me being successful in gaining an apprenticeship and making the decision not to return to my course at University.”

Laurie first worked towards and quickly completed her Level 2 SVQ in Business & Administration and then moved on to work towards her Level 3, which she expects to complete very soon. In June 2016, Laurie successfully gained a permanent full-time position with the Council.

Laurie told Neil: “I believe my apprenticeship and SVQ has been fundamental in shaping my career at this point in time. The work I have carried out as part of my SVQ and apprenticeship was challenging which I have really enjoyed. The positive and constructive feedback from my manager, supervisors and SVQ assessor was and continues to be really encouraging and I believe this has helped me progress in to gaining a permanent position.”
A View From Above: The Managers

When working with all the organisations that we do, Quest and SDS are very conscious of the support we both receive from candidates’ colleagues and managers while spending time working on their SVQs, which is greatly appreciated, and Quest are proud of the close relationships that have been developed with so many employers.

As mentioned above, managers are very supportive of the MA Programme and acknowledge how it can help them as a business:
Janice Grant, Company Accountant at QAPM: “Ellie has grown much more confident and is much more at ease making decisions. She has become more organised and is able to prioritise her workload more effectively. Focusing on her SVQ has made her more independent and she is more willing to take on new tasks.” 

Paul Macari, Senior Planning Officer, Dundee City Council on Darryl MacDonald: “This position was very important in maintaining and enhancing the performance of the Development Management team. Consequently, the apprenticeship allowed the Development Management team to maintain and enhance the level of service provided to our customers.”

Linzi Marshall, Sales & Marketing Manager, Hutchison Technologies: “I couldn’t have been happier with the outcome of our apprenticeship experience. Whilst young, Reece was very enthusiastic and contributed well to our already rounded-team. Through the course of the apprenticeship scheme she absorbed valuable information and acquired skills specific to our business needs meaning we were able to mould and develop her into the key, valued member of the business she has become in her now full time role.”

Scott Brough, Dundee City Council on Laurie Innes: “Laurie has helped the business by picking up skills quickly, being able to do tasks on her own when shown/explained what was needed done.  Laurie is also a good team player and was able to fit in well to team tasks and contribute her points of view. Laurie has gained excellent customer service skills and is able to help customers solve problems and point them to the right people to speak to.”

The Embarrassing!


Reece Evans (left), with her manager Linzi Marshall and colleagues Ross James, Service Manager, and Melissa Duncan of Hutchison Technologies.



Ellie Scott proudly shows her Level 3 certificate with Company Accountant, Janice Grant, and Associate Director, Steve Ward of QAPM

Darryl MacDonald receives her Level 3 certificate from manager Paul Macari at Dundee City Council.


Laurie Innes with her Level 2 certificate with manager Scott Brough and colleague



Lastly, the directors at Quest: Neil Mason, Finance Director, Laura Mason, Managing Director, Suzy Landsburgh, HR and SVQ Director

Quest (Scotland) Ltd

Quest are a training provider, delivering learning opportunities and Qualifications. This includes a Train the Trainer Qualification, SVQs in Management, Learning and Development, Customer Service and Administration and Professional Development Awards, all accredited by the Scottish Qualifications Authority.

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