Ali McMichael knew she wanted a career in engineering, and when the offer of the Foundation Apprenticeship (FA) came up, she saw it as a great opportunity to make a start on her chosen career before leaving school.

“I chose the Foundation Apprenticeship as I knew I wanted a career in engineering so the course was a great fit for me to be able to stay on at school while getting a qualification in engineering.”

Ali has been combining the FA with her other school subjects at Bathgate Academy, and has been particularly enjoying the practical elements of the course.

“I really enjoy being in the workshop and learning about the different types of materials. It is also great to put into practice a lot of the things we have learnt.”

Although Ali is progressing really well through her FA, she acknowledges that it isn’t always easy.

“The maths has been a bit of a struggle for me but I have had great support from the college and have spent more time working on it. I feel the extra work has really made a difference and I am beginning to understand it.”

As well as spending time in college, Ali has also spent time with employers as part of her FA.

“I went on my first placement with First East Scotland at the bus depot. I really enjoyed taking part in preparing a bus for a M.O.T and doing small jobs such as rewiring and replacing indicators.”

Ali is already thinking about her next steps after completing her FA and has been given an offer for HNC Engineering Systems.

“I am looking forward to doing the HNC and after that I’m planning to go onto HND at the college or to go into an apprenticeship.”

Find out more about the Foundation Apprenticeship in Engineering here