Tackling ESOL apprenticeship gap

ESOL students at City of Glasgow College benefit from an apprenticeship scheme with Arnold Clark.

A partnership between the college, GTG/Arnold Clark Automobiles Ltd and Skills Development Scotland set up a route into modern apprenticeships for ESOL students.

The pathway was created as part of a Scottish Government initiative to increase the number of black and minority ethnic people in the modern apprenticeship system.

Pam Turnbull, an ESOL lecturer at City of Glasgow College, who is active in ESOL employability, said:

“This was the first initiative of its type specifically designed to give ESOL students an understanding of the modern apprenticeship system, and the language used within a car maintenance environment. The training course, delivered jointly by our college and Arnold Clark, sees ESOL students undergoing an introduction to the role of a vehicle technician.”

Maryam Zeitoon, an ESOL student originally from Iran, is currently a modern apprentice with Arnold Clark. She said:

“I’m in my second year of the apprenticeship now and have passed all my exams so far. When I first started it was a bit hard because everyone has strong accents and the mechanic book was difficult to understand. I’m used to it all now, although I’m still learning.

“Working in the branch I learn from experience, by seeing how to do things, and at college we do the theory. I’m really happy with the apprenticeship scheme. I think it is the greatest opportunity for me as woman.”

City of Glasgow College currently delivers almost 600 apprenticeships across key industry sectors. These include hairdressing and barbering, procurement, digital and ICT, health and social care as well as maritime deck ratings and engine ratings.

The majority of the modern apprenticeships contain an element of on and off-the-job training and assessment resulting in industry-recognised qualifications and practical workplace skills.

Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2021 runs from 1 to 5 March. For details on the apprenticeships the college offers please visit the college website.