From Apprentice to Lecturer - Read Ally Macleod's blog about how his apprenticeship started his career.

Ally Macleod started his career with an Apprenticeship at LCC UHI when he left school in 2013. Now he is studying for his degree and teaching the next generation of apprentices here at the College.

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Ally Macleod teaching a class of apprentices at LCC UHI

I am really happy to share my experience as an apprentice as part of this year’s Scottish Apprenticeships Week. My apprenticeship gave me a lot of opportunities, led me to a great career and to returning to Lews Castle College to teach and help others through their apprenticeships.

I believe that apprenticeships offer young people a fantastic opportunity to develop skills whilst learning on the job. It’s not just about work skills its also about life skills, learning about having a job, communicating with people you work with and gaining confidence.

I left school at the end of 4th year to begin my electrical apprenticeship with the Lews Castle College UHI maintenance team. I really wanted to be an electrician and starting an apprenticeship meant I could work and train at the same time.

My apprenticeship meant I got to work with the maintenance team at the College as well as learning with the lecturers. It gave me a wide range of experience and I really enjoyed it. The guys at the college were all really supportive and helped me learn and develop.

I started my HNC engineering systems course full time at the college alongside my apprenticeship in 2013. That’s the great thing about taking on an apprenticeship, there is flexibility and support to allow you to take on other courses as well. I completed my HNC in 2014 and then completed my offshore sea survival training and CompEx in order to try and gain employment in the Oil & Gas Industry.

When I completed my apprenticeship I got my start off shore a company called Rockwell Automation, it was a project upgrading the PLC’s on some oil rigs.  I continued working off shore in a few roles until 2017 when I gained employment back on Lews with BASF Pharma Callanish Ltd in their engineering & maintenance team.

In 2019 I began my degree (BEng Electrical & Mechanical Engineering) at Lews Castle College UHI part-time. My employer BASF are funding my studies and letting me work round my classes which is great and makes a big difference. It is fantastic to be given the opportunity to work and learn again, it works so well for me.

In 2020 the college approached me and asked if I was interested in helping out with lecturing the apprentice electricians, which I have been doing and it has been great. I like to see all the apprentices starting out and learning just like I did. The opportunities ahead of them are so great and I can’t wait to see them go on and do well.

To find out more about apprentices at LCC UHI visit - https://www.lews.uhi.ac.uk/business/apprenticeships/ 

We are hosting a live Q&A session with our staff on Friday March 5th at 11am where you can join in and ask questions about our apprenticeships and find out more. Simply email lccmakreting@uhi.ac.uk to book your place and find out more.