Emily Forrest - MacTaggart Scott

In this case study we hear from Emily Forrest from one of our key employer partners, MacTaggart Scott. Emily is a 3rd year student on our Business Management GA programme. We also hear from Emily’s manager, Adam Clucas.

Emily Forrest

What were the benefits of Graduate Apprenticeship programme that attracted you the most?

For me, the main benefits are:

  • The opportunity to be able to learn and get a degree, whilst also getting experience in a workplace environment.
  • Provides opportunity for personal development.

What’s your current role at MacTaggart Scott?

My current role involves providing independent Quality Assurance and performing all quality tasks required on projects, orders and programs as defined in the Business Management System and by the Assistant Quality Manager.

How have you found the challenge of combining work with studying towards a degree?

It can be challenging at times, if you are busy at work and have assignments etc due. However, MTS are good at giving you the time you need to complete any work / collect information for uni work within the workplace.

What is your proudest achievement to date in your role and can you explain how this impacted on your working environment and or helped deliver results on behalf of your organisation?

My proudest achievement is completing an internal auditing course which enabled me to assist and conduct an internal audit which is a large aspect of the team’s roles.

What are your future career hopes and goals on completion of the Graduate Apprenticeship?

My main career goal at the moment is to become fully qualified in my role and become competent in all aspects of my job.

Can you outline what support and/or encouragement your employer has given you in your GA journey?

My mentor (Euan Cameron) as well as my managers (John Pitcairn & Adam Clucas) have all been helpful providing any information / help I might need to complete assignments.

Any members of staff I have interviewed for information gathering have been helpful enough on different topics and willing to aid me in any way required.

Please give a quote to sum up your overall experience of the Graduate Apprenticeship programme:

It can be challenging at times, however, overall it is a rewarding experience.

Graduate Apprenticeship employer – Adam Clucas, MacTaggart Scott

Can you provide some background to MacTaggart Scott?

MTS is a privately owned limited liability company based in Loanhead, near Edinburgh, It has been in operation since 1898, currently employing around 360 personnel. The company is predominantly involved in the design, support and manufacture of hydraulic equipment for Defence and Civil markets. MTS has over 100 years’ experience in providing quality and reliable products which has resulted in a customer base extending in 60 different countries, resulting in the organisation being the preferred choice for many navies.

MTS produces a variety of different hydraulic systems to both Commercial and Defence customers with a dedicated Research and Development department, Business Planning, Design Team, Manufacturing, Testing and Inspection facilities.

This is supported by an in-service Support team and Repairs Centre for the upkeep of equipment. The end application of these products varies from Surface Ships to Submarines, Civil Products and Renewables.

What are the key reasons why the Graduate Apprenticeship model suits your specific business/industry?

Apprenticeships have been an important aspect for MTS, with the company utilising the Modern Apprenticeship route for shop floor trades (Machining, Assembly, Welding etc) and this allowed the company to pass on skills from more experienced personnel. The Graduate Apprenticeship route is a continuation of this but adds the academic element of a degree which can lead to a different career route - more office based, whilst building an understanding shop floor operations.

What appealed to you most about Heriot-Watt University as the GA provider?

We have a long standing partnership with them and have stayed with them due to their vast choice of courses and the variety they offer. We have a close working relationship with their educational coordinators and they are always keen to accommodate us.

In what way has the GA made a contribution to the workplace/business?

Emily is a valued member of the team working towards being a Quality Engineer, her roles and responsibilities include:

  • Contract Review
  • Non-conformance reporting
  • Auditing
  • Compiling Objective Quality Evidence for customers

Her mix of academic ability and continual development of workplace knowledge and experience is providing invaluable to the Quality Department. Emily contributes towards departmental training on top of direct activities, which will only aid other, newer members of the team, an important aspect as the department looks to increase in size.

How do you feel about Emily’s future?

Emily has a lot of potential and aptitude to pick up new tasks, balance a busy and challenging workload (alongside completing a degree) and with the knowledge and experience she is gaining, is well on her way to a Quality Engineer at MacTaggart Scott. The diversity of tasks and skills Emily is picking up will stand her in a good stead for the future and create a very competent Engineer in the Quality discipline.

Based on your experience of the Graduate Apprenticeship programme would you happily employ another Graduate Apprentice in the future?

Yes. MacTaggart Scott can see through individuals such as Emily, the value of this approach not only in personal development, but in what the organisation gets back. The mixture of practical understanding, academic development and work experience over the four years gives a strong skillset to the individual which in turn benefits the business overall.