Amanda’s background

In 2013 I completed my 6th year of high school. Having enjoyed my learning experience at school I had planned on going to university and had received 3 conditional offers. However, I did not meet my conditions due to failing my exams. This was mainly due to my nerves during exam conditions as I know myself I was capable of passing. This knocked my confidence but didn’t put me off education and I was motivated to use the college system to continue my journey.

Describe your journey to becoming a Modern Apprentice

After I received my exam results I applied to college to study NC Level 6 Applied Science. I was accepted to this course and completed and passed in 2014, winning the award for outstanding work ethic. I also decided to sit optional end of year exams in Higher Chemistry and Higher Human Biology, which I passed. I then progressed on the HNC Applied Science course. During my time in this course I saw that the college was offering a 2 year Modern Apprenticeship as a lab technician whilst studying the HNC part-time. I applied for the apprenticeship and rewardingly was offered the position, starting on the 1st December 2014.

In the future after my apprenticeship I plan to find work as well as continuing to come to college part-time to complete my HND and progress to university, to study biomedical science or a related topic.

How have you used the SCQF in your learning journey?

At school I successfully studied science at SCQF Level 4 and 5, but wasn’t successful at SCQF Level 6 Highers. However, college offered me the opportunity to study an NC Applied Science at SCQF Level 6 and this put me back on track to progress to Higher education.

Currently I’m working towards two qualifications at SCQF Level 7: an HNC in Applied Science and an SVQ Level 3 in Life Sciences and related Industries.

I hope to continue to progress through the framework to achieve a HND and then a Degree (SCQF Level 10).West CollScot

What opportunities has the Modern Apprenticeship offered you?

During my modern apprenticeship I have been fortunate enough to become a college first aider and fire warden, as well as completing my Level 3 Safety in Microbiology course with SSERC.

Other opportunities I have had include being part of Mission Discovery (NASA Project) where I got to mentor young high school students in developing an experiment to be trialled in space. My team made it to the final and during the week we got to meet astronauts and staff from mission control.

All these opportunities have been useful in providing evidence of skills for my SVQ as well helping me develop as a team leader and grow my confidence.

Throughout my apprenticeship I have also presented at Glasgow University for Character Scotland, giving a presentation about my journey from school to college and work. In addition to the learning and development already mentioned during my apprenticeship I applied for the Young Innovators Challenge (SIE) and was shortlisted as a finalist. I really enjoyed the challenge and would love to participate in other similar events in the future.

For more information on West College Scotland’s Modern Apprenticeship scheme, visit their website at Information on Modern Apprenticeships can be found on

Download as pdf