Apprenticeships have given me the opportunity to get into the work environment straight out of school and to earn money while I continue to learn.

When I finished my GCSEs, I was ready to leave school and jump straight into a career – but in today’s competitive job market, it’s not that simple.

I decided to study for an NVQ while working full-time with an IT recruitment agency. Here, I learned on the job while meeting with a mentor once per week to discuss how I could develop further. I completed coursework over the two years to pass two Level 2 qualifications in Sales and Telesales and The Principles of Sales.

I liked the idea of working in an office so the apprenticeship was a great way of jumping into a work environment early on rather than continuing my studies at college or university.

Two years into the programme, I passed my Level 2 NVQs and came to the realisation that I wanted to be doing the kind of role that I was recruiting for – not placing other candidates in those roles. That’s when I decided to pursue a Level 3 qualification in IT.

I don’t feel for one minute that my time in recruitment was wasted, because I earned money while learning and discovering what I wanted to do long-term in my career.

I’m currently studying for two Level 3 diplomas in IT Systems and Principles and IT and Telecoms at 3aaa Watford Academy, while working at BAM alongside the company’s Central Services IT Support Team.

At college, I learn about the theory behind networks and servers, while at BAM I get hands-on experience.

The IT department offers me flexibility to learn about different areas of the business from project management to software development – but I see my career being in IT Support as it compliments my skills and personality.

In the future, I hope to continue my career with BAM full time and complete a Level 4 Advanced Diploma, which is the equivalent of a foundation degree. I’d like to work my way up the career ladder, eventually becoming involved in a high tech support role.

During these apprenticeships, I have learnt so much more than I would have in the classroom – from interview skills to communication skills – and I’ve developed as a person.

I would really recommend an apprenticeship to anyone who is keen to leave the school environment and enter straight into a career path – with the added benefit of earning money while doing it.

Apprenticeships are a great way to get into a progressive role, learn about the industry you’re entering into and choose the right career path for you.

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About the author

Jed Taylor

Apprentice IT Analyst

Jed currently works alternate weeks at BAM Construct UK’s IT department at the company’s head office in Hemel Hempstead and studying for his Level 3 qualifications in IT Systems and Principles and IT and Telecoms at 3aaa Academy Watford. As part of his apprenticeship, Jed is training with the company’s IT Support desk, which acts as a helpdesk for the company’s 2,500 employees nationwide.

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