Today’s workplaces have become fiercely competitive over the years, with many employers looking for ‘what else’ employees have up their sleeves.
Developing and enhancing skill sets is essential for both sides of the table, but additional qualifications can be hard to fit into busy schedules, and most people aren’t aware of how both professional and learning environments can blend.
Supta Das, a Commercial Specialist at Scottish Water, had never thought about work-based learning until she saw it being promoted internally. She was put in touch with Skills Development Scotland (SDS) to find out how they could support her ambitions of working while studying at Heriot-Watt University.
Not only did Supta learn more about the opportunities on offer, and go on to undertake a Graduate Apprenticeship in IT and Business Management while at work, she also joined an Advisory Group to help make work-based learning even better for others in the future.
Read more about Supta’s journey below.
“In just less than a year, I have significantly enhanced both hard and soft skills through my course. My colleagues have noticed a real difference in my use of lateral thinking when it comes to preparing presentations which help influence the wider business, while the harder more technical skills, such as understanding cashflow and cost breakdown, offer value directly related to my actual job.
“Without the support of SDS, there is no way I would have gained the same level of experience, skills or other opportunities such as sitting on the Centre for Work-based Learning Advisory Group. In reality, I would have just continued business as usual, but this course has opened so many doors for me which has really broadened my personal skill set, and my approach to business more generally.
“Work-based learning has transformed the way I approach my role, and I would thoroughly recommend SDS, and in turn the Centre for Work-based Learning, as a support network to help take those first steps into the finding the right apprenticeship for you.
“I am incredibly proud to now be a member of the Centre for Work-based Learning Advisory Group, who really listen to my feedback and value my opinion. For example, I was able to ensure the learning materials from my course enabled apprentices to take learning into practice from the first semester. This way the employer is able to see the added value of the apprenticeship from the very outset.
“The Advisory Group isn’t just senior representatives making decisions at board level. People on the course have the opportunity to speak out and give their opinion, which is so important. The group is really open to and encourages feedback about real-life experience, which is a refreshing approach. I’ve seen huge value in being able to contribute to this. It also offers an excellent opportunity for networking, and I looking forward to supporting the development of all work-based learning practices in the future as a member of the Group.”