An apprentice's story
We asked one of our former apprentices to tell us his story so that we could share it with you!
Why did you decide to undertake an apprenticeship?
I had just finished my first year of uni and decided that the course I was on wasn’t for me. I only had a part-time retail job and wanted to start a career in something outside of retail.
I saw the apprenticeship advertised and thought that it looked ideal for me. I have always loved tech and IT, and the role was local with better pay than my retail job, and with good hours. It gave me the opportunity to earn whilst training and gain further qualifications. I viewed the position as a chance to get my foot in the door and prove myself. The fact that it was a faster and debt free route into a career than university would be appealed to me greatly.
How do you think the apprenticeship scheme has benefited you and your career? Where did you start and where are you now?
I may have never gotten into a career in IT if it wasn’t for my apprenticeship. I started as an apprentice taking calls on the IT Service Desk with the opportunity to learn from experienced colleagues. I moved into a permanent role during the creation of the shared Digital and IT service between the London Borough of Sutton and the Royal Borough of Kingston around half a year into the apprenticeship. I spent the next 4 or 5 years in this role before I applied for a higher position in the Digital Futures/Innovations team, which I have now worked within for over a year.
Would you recommend the apprenticeship scheme to others and why?
Definitely! Don't feel pressured into University! Schools and colleges often incorrectly portray university as the only route to success. This is purely so that they can show stats about the number of their students that went on to attend university. My head of 6th form made me feel like a failure for not choosing to go to university, and yet I have ended up with a better career than many of my friends that did! Only choose university if it is right for you. In reality, apprenticeships are a better alternative for many people!
Apprenticeships are a great opportunity to gain more qualifications and experience whilst earning money at the same time. If you impress during your apprenticeship, you could even get your foot in the door and move on to a permanent role if one is available. Even if this isn't a possibility, you can take these skills, experiences and qualifications to move on and progress your career elsewhere at the end of your apprenticeship.
An apprenticeship is a chance to work in an environment with friendly, supportive colleagues who will help you to learn and grow… all whilst earning more money than you'd have working behind a till somewhere!