I believe apprenticeships aren’t spoke about enough in schools. For example if you’re attending career evenings or speaking to a careers adviser, there usually isn’t enough information about the type of apprenticeships available. Careers advisers always ask you if you want to stay on for A levels or if you want to go to college to do a diploma; no one ever asks you if you would be interested in an apprenticeship.
After I left college I decided that university wasn’t right for me and I decided to work full time in retail where I was already holding down a Saturday job. I remained in retail for five years before deciding that I needed a change of scenery. I wanted to use my Media diploma which I had worked hard for in college to build a career.
Once I had decided on the type of job which I would enjoy and be good at, I started to search the internet and job sites. This was when I realised that not having a degree was a hindrance when looking for a career. All the jobs I applied for, mostly junior positions, I did not hear back from or I received replies saying I didn’t meet the criteria. Being dedicated to finding something out of my current job role, I decided to email 30 local marketing and PR companies. I explained I didn’t have a degree but was very willing to learn the ropes and start from the bottom. Out of the 30 companies one replied, Voice Communications.
Voice Communications offered me the chance to come in for a few days work experience to see if I would enjoy working in PR. Once they realised that this was a career I was serious about pursuing, they offered me a year apprenticeship course in Digital Marketing with Creative Pioneers. People don’t realise that apprenticeships are out there and are widely available from all types of companies, from small businesses to massive corporations.
Being someone who doesn’t have a degree, this apprenticeship and Voice Communications as a company has given me the opportunity to start a career which I am passionate about. I think the best thing about apprenticeships is that you have the chance to learn the skills you need for your job, as well as getting the hands on experience in working in the industry.
My tips for being a apprentice –
- Be persistent – Keep contacting businesses, even to just do a short work experience placement. It shows you are willing to gain the experience you need to start an apprenticeship.
- Be a hard worker – Juggling an apprenticeship course and a full time job can be hard work but if you keep your sights on completing your apprenticeship you will receive your qualification at the end.
- Be an asset – You want the company you are doing your apprenticeship with to want to keep you on at the end of your course. This can be done by making sure your do your job well and help your colleagues out as much as possible.
- Be confident – Show your colleagues that you are confident in working in your selected industry and that you want this to be a career not just a job.