Apprentice Week – Sophie

What made you decide to start an apprenticeship?

I didn’t know what I wanted to do after school so I stayed on and did a year at sixth form, however I realised this wasn’t something I wanted to do for another year and I wanted to start earning money. I didn’t have any work experience and an apprenticeship was the best option for me to be able to get a job and be able to learn and experience a working environment as well as gaining a qualification. 

How old were you when you began your apprenticeship, and in what role did you start?

I was 17 when I started my role as an administration assistant.

What was your favourite thing about your apprenticeship, and have you benefited from this through the duration of your course?

When I started my apprenticeship, the company had only been trading a couple of months so the business only had 4/5 members of staff so everyone was learning together, I was able to visit some of our suppliers and customers which was a great opportunity for me and it helped me gain a lot of confidence.

It opened up so many opportunities, I became more independent and it enabled me to start driving. The company was very supportive and they wanted to help develop my skills and encouraged me to do additional courses such as First Aid and business development workshop days.

After a few years of being with Yorkshire Payments I was promoted to Applications Manager which was amazing, the company have been so supportive and gives young people the opportunity to gain skills and develop.

Since doing your first apprenticeship have you taken on any more apprenticeship courses? If so, why did you decide on this?

After I completed my business administration NVQ Level 2 I continued to develop my skills and started my NVQ Level 3 in customer service. I have now just completed a distinction in team leader/supervisor NVQ Level 3 Apprenticeship and I am considering starting a departmental/operational management NVQ Level 5.

For a lot of young people deciding what they want to do after leaving education is tricky, why would you recommend they begin an apprenticeship?

I would definitely recommend considering an apprenticeship for people who don’t want to go to University. It allows you to earn while you learn, and you gain a qualification at the end of the course. There’s so many different types of apprenticeships out there to suit most kinds of industries you would like to work in. 

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