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.