WARRINGTON Collegiate is shining the spotlight on apprenticeships as part of a national to get more individuals and employers signed up to the scheme.
National Apprenticeship Week runs from Monday to Friday, March 6-10 and aims to demonstrate the many benefits that apprenticeships can bring to both learners and employers.
The Collegiate is a proud provider of apprenticeships in a number of areas including accounting, business administration, construction, hairdressing, engineering, pharmacy, plumbing and warehousing.
An apprenticeship is not just a job, it’s a career, and with 90% of apprentices staying in employment – 71% with the same employer – after completing their apprenticeship, plus the added bonus of earning while you learn, there has been no better time to start your journey!
Former apprentices Jaime Lee Wright and Tilly Dobbins are celebrating after securing permanent positions with their employer after completing their apprenticeships.
Both Jaime and Tilly completed their Level 2 Business Administration qualifications while working at Warrington Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). They have since been given full time positions with the company and hope to progress onto their level 3 qualification in the future.
During her apprenticeship, Jaime dealt with primary care and worked closely with GPs, arranging meetings, taking minutes and engaging with the public.
Tilly looked after arranging meetings for the Children and Young Persons team, worked with the communications team and planned events.
Both are now working as PAs within the organisation and are among the 90% of apprentices who stay in employment.
Jaime said: “An apprenticeship was completely the right choice for me as opposed to going to university to study. The qualifications you get by doing an apprenticeship made it an easy choice for me. Doing an apprenticeship allows you to start your career early. Completing an apprenticeship allowed me to earn money whilst learning and developing skills and confidence.
“I can’t believe how much I have learned in just a year and that’s through the help of the college and the support from my colleagues at Warrington CCG. I don’t see this as a job, I see it as a career. I would encourage all young people to get an apprenticeship in something that they are interested in as you really can achieve great things.”
Tilly also believes going down the apprenticeship route was the right decision.
She said: “The apprenticeship helped me to understand how businesses work, as well as improving my skill set, helping me to quickly improve my own quality of work.
“Being able to study with the help from our tutor, Jill, made things so much clearer and straightforward. I also can’t thank the staff at Warrington CCG enough for the support and encouragement they gave both Jaime Lee and I throughout the course.
“Being able to complete an apprenticeship helps to tackle that issue of getting a job where you need both experience and qualifications, something that is hard to achieve otherwise, and I would recommend anyone who is debating undertaking an apprenticeship to give it a go.”
Tilly added: “We both feel like valued members of the team with our responsibilities increasing rapidly. I love it here, so I can’t thank the Collegiate enough for offering us the opportunity to work and learn!”
Hairdressing apprentice Emily Syers has had the opportunity of a lifetime during her time at Warrington salon Lisa B’s.
The 17 year old started her apprenticeship in July 2015 to follow her dream of working in the industry. With a passion for using her creativity and imagination, Emily has done more than cut and colour clients and regularly creates unique hairstyles that rival those of celebrity stylists.
Emily said: “An apprenticeship is giving me the experience of what it’s like to work in a busy salon environment in the real world. Every day is completely different and I get to meet so many different people, which is helping me to improve my people skills as well as my hairdressing skills.
“I chose an apprenticeship because it challenges you and allows you to express yourself. You get thrown into the deep end but that’s good because it gives you that push to reach your full potential.”
During her apprenticeship, Emily has had the opportunity to work with a number of celebrity hairdressers.
She spent the day working as a junior to X Factor stylist Jamie Stevens and has also acted as a model for Desmond Murray.
Emily said: “It’s hard to pinpoint one thing as a highlight because it’s all a highlight within itself. For me, just being given this opportunity is incredible.
“Working with Jamie and Desmond has been the biggest thing and I feel fortunate to be able to model for them. It’s all been so overwhelming. I can’t thank Lisa enough for all she has done for me.”
Lisa Sherratt, owner of Lisa B’s salon, has employed 10 apprentices from Warrington Collegiate during her 23 years in the industry.
She said: “I think every business should hire an apprentice – they’re our future.”
“Without us having an apprentice, without us having Emily, we wouldn’t be able to function. Emily is a huge asset to the salon, to the community and to our staff.”
For more information about apprenticeships and the opportunities available through Warrington Collegiate, visit Warrington.ac.uk