Our Managing Director, Mike Wilson, explains: “This is the first year that Mearns & Gill have participated in the Foundation Apprenticeship scheme. We had no previous knowledge of the programme, but NESCOL piqued our interest when they approached us with the idea of working with S5 and S6 pupils to help shape the next generation of talent.”
Foundation Apprenticeships are included in the range of opportunities available to school pupils in their senior phase of school. They are designed as a blend of college, school and work-based learning and give young people hands-on learning and practical experience in the world of work. The Foundation Apprenticeship is completed over two years, and during her first year, Emma attended NESCOL for two afternoons a week. During that time, she completed work on the creative industries in general, created magazines, podcasts, and short films. Her second year has involved entering the world of work and has seen her joining the Mearns & Gill team for one day a week since August 2019. Emma explains: “The aim of the course is to fill the skills gap that graduates have, as we normally lack real work experience. It is also good for starting to build a network and make ourselves known in the industry.” Emma has certainly made an impact at Mearns & Gill and has demonstrated a high level of understanding and capability.
Emma’s jobs have been varied during her time with Mearns & Gill, helping initially with research, social media and providing event support. Most of her time, however, has been spent working with the designers in our studio where she has really flourished. This has involved assisting on jobs including internal work, and also getting the opportunity to be involved with real client work such as creating event materials, social media posts and flyers. “I haven’t made a single cup of tea or coffee!” Emma jokes! How did we let you get away with that one?!
I asked Emma which piece of work she was most proud of from her time with Mearns & Gill: “I would say the work I did for Mental Health Aberdeen, particularly the green ribbon for World Mental Health Day as it got shared so much online and it was rewarding to see it actually helping create some more visibility for the charity.” Emma was tasked with creating an image for the charity that could be easily recognised and shared as a way for people to show their support on World Mental Health Day (19th October 2019). She did a fantastic job! The image reached almost 25,000 people on Facebook alone!