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About Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE)

HIE is an ambitious organisation with a remit from the Scottish Government that integrates economic and community development. With around 300 staff, HIE supports hundreds of businesses and social enterprises across the Highlands and Islands. HIE works in a diverse region covering more than half of Scotland’s land mass and including all inhabited islands. Our vision is for the Highlands and Islands to be a prosperous, inclusive, and sustainable region, attracting more people to live, work, study, invest and visit.

Our three priorities are to: Enable strong, capable, and resourceful communities; build successful, productive, and resilient businesses; and create the conditions for growth and a green recovery.

HIE’s recruitment and selection activity is conducted in line with our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion. As such, we were delighted to become an SCQF Inclusive Recruiter. We are committed to developing the young workforce as part of our workforce plan and have recently appointed a cohort of graduates and modern apprentices, including Shannon, who has shared her thoughts on her experience so far.

What’s your name, what age are you, where do you work & what is your job title?

My name is Shannon Shepperson, and I am 22 years old. I joined Highlands and Islands Enterprise in October 2022, and I am based in the Orkney area office in Kirkwall. My role is an Administration Officer – Modern Apprentice; this entails providing administrative support to the Orkney area team, assisting the team with records management, helping to organise events and meeting, as well as a few other things.


How did you find out about the apprenticeship?

I found out about the post in my local newspaper.

Why did you decide to do an apprenticeship?

I was intrigued by the development opportunity of getting a qualification whilst working.

What have you enjoyed most about your apprenticeship journey so far?

I have enjoyed the variety that my apprenticeship offers.

How did the SCQF help you understand the different learning pathways available to you?

My local college has a lot of information on the SCQF on their website, I looked on there to gain knowledge on all the different learning paths I could get access to.  

Were you always interested in undertaking an apprenticeship & do you understand how the SCQF level of the Modern Apprenticeship compares with other post-school options?

This is my third apprenticeship I have taken part in since leaving school. I have always preferred doing apprenticeships as I enjoy the variety and freedom it gives me to be able to gain a qualification as well as getting relevant work experience in the sector. I feel it is important to do both at the same time as most people find it difficult getting a job after achieving their qualification due to the fact that most employers prefer someone to have relevant work experience on top of the qualification needed and a lot of people can miss out on job opportunities because of that.

What are your plans for the future/your future career?

I am hoping to climb up the company ladder whilst also completing the higher stage of my current qualification, SVQ Business and Administration at SCQF level 6. 

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