As part of Scottish Apprenticeship Week (1st – 5th March 2021), Cornerstone is delighted to announce that fully-funded Health and Social Care Modern Apprenticeships opportunities will be available shortly around Scotland. Open to young people aged 18-29 years, the Modern Apprenticeship scheme gives those looking to pursue or develop their career in health and social care, the opportunity to gain a sector-recognised qualification whilst working in a paid role as a support worker or team member.  

Sheila Gordon, Cornerstone’s Training Academy Lead explained,

“A Modern Apprenticeship is an excellent route for young people to pursue and develop a career in health and social care.  It allows candidates to invest in their own continuous learning and development, whilst keeping up to date with the latest skills, techniques and regulations. Importantly it also allows young people to convert their on-the-job, practical experience into a formal, recognised and required qualification”.

Since the scheme was launched in 2011, Cornerstone has trained a total of 169 Modern Apprenticeships, with a further 16 colleagues currently working towards their qualification. 

Sheila added, “Modern Apprenticeships are a key investment Cornerstone chooses to make in our workforce; an investment that is also recognised by our Investors in Young People award. We pride ourselves in paying our Modern Apprenticeships the Scottish Living Wage and ensure those who complete a Modern Apprenticeship immediately receive the same salary as someone already qualified.  We provide full support through our employed team of trained assessors, giving our Modern Apprenticeships full access to facilitated study sessions, up-to-date guidance and regular reviews and check-ins. In addition, Modern Apprenticeships have proven to be a great way for us to develop our workforce by creating new opportunities and training new staff as well as upskilling existing employees and supporting career progression”.

Tonia DiPonio Modern Apprenticeship

Tonia DiPonio, 25, a team member at Cornerstone’s Keswick service based in Dundee, started her Modern Apprenticeship in 2020 and graduated in February 2021.

“I was motivated to sign up to do a Modern Apprenticeship because I wanted to progress in my career by developing my knowledge and skills.  It has really helped to grow my confidence and reassured me that I was carrying out my role as effectively as possible! I found the different tasks and units really interesting, especially the practical side of it where I was observed doing different tasks such as moving and handling, and administering medication."

"The most rewarding part of the Modern Apprenticeship was achieving the qualification in SVQ Social Services and Healthcare at SCQF level 7. I would highly recommend that people should start a Modern Apprenticeship if they want to progress in their career in health and social care!”

Scottish Apprenticeship Week runs from 1st-5th March 2021 and is co-ordinated by Skills Development Scotland to demonstrate the value apprenticeships bring to individuals, employers and the economy. This year’s theme is Business Backing Talent, with the aim to demonstrate how businesses benefit when they back talent through apprenticeships. You can find out more at