I was recently asked by Craven College to feature in a video to help promote Apprenticeships. Having done an Apprenticeship at Craven College in 2012 straight out of Sixth Form, I knew first-hand the benefits of vocational qualifications so was keen to be involved (and chuffed to be asked!) Check out my moment in the spotlight here:

Apprenticeships are now in the spotlight but, when I was doing my A Levels, I came up against discouragement and a lack of information from my school which was very university-driven. Providing students with the valuable information they needed in order to make a decision about a future which might not involve an academic degree wasn’t at the top of the agenda – something which I hope has now changed. I did my own research and attended an event at the college to find out more, which was when I learnt about what an Apprenticeship entails and decided it was the best option for me.

I’ve worked at award winning marketing comms agency Engage Comms for more than five years now, having met the owners Jo and Helen at a business networking event I wouldn’t have attended if it wasn’t for my Apprenticeship. I consider promoting Apprenticeships as part and parcel of my job role now. I’m determined to prove that the university route is not the only option for school-leavers. My Apprenticeship taught me so many things about the world of work that no degree could have prepared me for, and the confidence it gave me to engage in networking groups where my peers had years of experience in a variety of sectors was invaluable to my career progression.

We work with clients in the education sector which include awarding bodies, training providers and trade associations, so I am lucky to get to use my passion for vocational learning every day to help shout about the amazing opportunities Apprenticeships can bring to the UK workforce.

The road to my Apprenticeship had a bit of a bumpy start but looking back I know I definitely made the right decision, and hope that the more I and others shout about the benefits we’ve gained through choosing a vocational learning route, the more people will choose this road for themselves.

For anyone who is considering an Apprenticeship, here are my top tips based on my own experience:

  1. Get a second opinion, and a third and a fourth: I was told that I would never get a job if I didn’t have a degree, which obviously isn’t true, so ask around and visit colleges to find out from tutors all the facts before you rule it based on one person’s opinion.
  2. Don’t follow the crowd: Just because all your friends are going to university doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for you. There are benefits to each side of the argument, you just need to work out which one suits your style of learning best.
  3. Talk to other apprentices: Hear from those who have been through the process on how it’s opened doors for them.