To celebrate Scottish Apprenticeship Week, we’d like to pay tribute to those within the Millar & Bryce family who have made a herculean effort to achieve their apprenticeships during such an extraordinary time.
Our 2020 graduates have now gained an industry recognised qualification, and we have another five apprentices set to graduate in 2021.
Richard Hepburn, Managing Director, Millar & Bryce, comments: “From a business perspective, the focused knowledge they have gained aligns us much more closely with our customers as well as demonstrating our commitment not only to the property industry, but to our employees’ professional development. We have always invested in our people, and with funding available to businesses who are willing to invest in their staff, the decision to create a brighter future for individuals and businesses becomes that much easier.”
Ellie Wilson, Administration Assistant, saw her paralegal apprenticeship as a good opportunity. “To be the first group at M&B to undertake this course was nerve-wracking, but I think it went very well and I believe this could help lead me down a possible career path. It’s also something else to put on my CV.” Claire Baxter, Personal Searcher in the Operations Team, agrees. “After reading all the information about the Apprenticeship and what I would get out of it, I couldn’t turn down such a rewarding opportunity.”
The commitment to studying alongside a full-time job was not without its challenges. Ellie said, “With the global pandemic going on and being in lockdown, it was certainly challenging not being able to physically go over to my manager or other members of staff for support (although this was still available over the phone or by message).” Claire echoes this sentiment. “Some of the course content for me is quite hard to take in due to the nature of it – Scots Law is heavy reading! I’m really interested in the course, though, and am looking forward to increasing my knowledge.”
Time management was also the biggest challenge for Sandra Stolecka, Finance Assistant, who is taking the graduate apprenticeship in accounting to become a professional accountant. Already holding a Master’s in Economics, Sandra enjoys the flexibility of being able to learn and work at the same time. “Hopefully after five years I become an accountant, and this will bring plenty of opportunities for the finance department, as I will be able to tackle more tasks which, at the moment, I am unable to do.”
It’s clear to see how the apprenticeships benefit both the employee and the business. Claire said, “I’ll be a lot more confident within my own job role, and it’ll give me the determination to try new things within the business, whether that’s learning a new role or helping on new projects.” Ellie agrees, “I think this gave me a great opportunity to learn more about conveyancing relating to M&B, and I can use this knowledge in my day-to-day role. I was provided with great resources which I can always look back on. I feel grateful to have had this opportunity. For the business, I think this has been a real success.”
The course is provided through distance learning and quarterly on-site support from Scotia Law Training. Apprentices learn the necessary skills, law and compliance rules required to work to paralegal level. Munro McCannell, Managing Director at Scotia Law, comments: “The apprentice will become a more effective, productive and motivated member of staff, and we’re delighted to have worked with Millar & Bryce these last twelve months, and share our congratulations to the most recent graduates. We look forward to supporting the next cohort on their journey in 2021.”
Darren Mossman, Snr HR Manager, comments: ‘We are very excited to support our people in their professional development. Working in collaboration with Skills Development Scotland and our training partners we have been able to increase our number of apprentices year on year and launched our first Graduate Apprenticeship programme in Accounting in late 2020. The value to the business in backing talent through apprenticeships is not only recognised with the increase in skills and knowledge but highlighted in the feedback from the apprentices themselves. We are sure our apprentices will enjoy the courses they are undertaking albeit it is challenging in the current climate. We encourage all Scottish businesses to consider apprenticeships, especially with the financial help available, the opportunity for individuals to gain an industry recognised qualification and the positive impact it has on the apprentices themselves.’
The training is part funded and until 25 March 2021, there are grants payable to employers up to £5,000, via Skills Development Scotland. Chair of Skills Development Scotland, Frank Mitchel, comments: “Additional funding for employers to recruit apprentices means sustaining vital opportunities for people to work, learn and earn, while ensuring businesses have the critical skills they need”.
If you would like more information, please email Darren.Mossman@millar-bryce.com
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