It's National Apprenticeships week!
The time has come again where we can celebrate the work that apprentices do and highlight the benefits of becoming one.
During the week employers and apprentices from across England will come together to celebrate the success of apprenticeships whilst encouraging even more people to choose apprenticeships as a pathway to a great career.
Here at Brighton and Hove city council there are a total of over 100 current apprentices, we will be posting stories about why they chose this career route and to try and encourage others to also think about it. As well as this we will also be sharing content on social media with the hashtag #workforme.
Take a look at the video below to hear how becoming an apprentice has impacted some people in a positive way.
Before my apprenticeship I had been a Supervisor for over 4 years in children’s entertainment and there was no sign of progression available. The position was demanding and challenging, which I loved. Unfortunately I did not feel valued and it was difficult to have my voice and opinions heard.
A colleague I used to work with had applied for an apprenticeship before and had done so well he was hired and was looking at further promotion within his team. He is also an Apprenticeship Ambassador and had told me about the opportunities it opens up for people. At the time I barely paid attention and had the same thought that most people do, that it wasn’t something that could help me and wasn’t something I wanted to do..
Eventually I summoned up the courage to change my everyday norm and I applied for a Level 3 Business Administration Apprenticeship within the Procurement team in Brighton and Hove City Council. It was the first one on the list and I thought I’d apply and see what happened.
When I met the team I immediately felt like I was wanted and greeted into the procurement family. I’d had a vague idea of what the job entailed but didn’t know the scope of what it covered. I spent most of the first couple of months completely taken aback by the importance of the contracts that the team were dealing with. Thankfully they were patient and helped me with any questions I had. My manager (and his manager) have been super supportive and challenged me and my skills along the way. He gave me lots of projects that were my responsibility and I was able to grow confident in my abilities as I gained the experience.
The Apprenticeship itself is quite holistic. I have found that by just working I have completed parts of my units and all I need to do is remember to take some screenshots and show my understanding of what I have just done. You have an assessor who helps you pin point what you need to work on and you are generally given plenty of time to work on it. Most importantly you get to gain the experience and create a rapport as you do an apprenticeship. This is great for applying for permanent positions in the future.
I am now lucky enough to say that I have succeeded in securing a job as an (acting)Procurement Advisor within the City Services and Infrastructure category of Corporate Procurement and I did this in less than 9 months of starting the apprenticeship. This has been the best step I could have taken for myself and my family (the extra money will help too). I have the ability to be home every day for dinner with the kids and I get to spend weekends with them too, something I haven’t been able to do without a lot of hassle in the last 5 years.
As an Apprenticeship Ambassador I will be helping others out there, who were like me, stuck in a rut and thinking that they have no options. It has been a great way to meet other people in the same situation, made me realise I’m not on this journey alone and that there are plenty of people ranging from younger to older who are doing apprenticeships now. I would definitely recommend an apprenticeship to everyone out there no matter what age or skill level, there is something for you!
The only regret I have now is not applying for an apprenticeship years ago, who knows where I could have been by now.