Carlie is one of many young people who took on an apprenticeship. Below she tells us in her own words about her experience and why she thinks more young people should give apprenticeships a go….
I did an apprenticeship in administration and business and I’m now a professional qualified youth worker, working with young people.
I chose to do an apprenticeship because I’d left college without completing my qualifications and I didn’t know what else to do. I have always been really good with computers and doing task such as paper work. I had done some volunteering before and I knew what it was like to work in an office environment. Doing an apprenticeship seemed like a good way of getting a qualification plus a way into a job. It was my first full time job, but it was an easy way of getting a job.
I started off on an apprenticeship wage at Level 1, which was £50 a week. After three months they upped my pay to double, which was £100 a week, because I showed the placement provider that I was capable of more and they could give me more responsibility. When I started my Level 3, my pay increased to the minimum wage.
I loved my apprenticeship. The fact that I could get a full-time job and a qualification alongside it was perfect. It was more than what I expected and it’s been a really valuable experience going forward in the rest of my career.
When I started my apprenticeship there was no expectation that I knew what I was doing. It felt as though I was there to learn and I was there to know what it was like to work. When I looked at other jobs, it felt like the expectation was that you must know everything about the job before you even start. When you start an apprenticeship they know and understand that you’re training and that they’re there to teach you. So you don’t feel pressured to be perfect.
There are things that I learnt in my apprenticeship that have been really valuable in my day-to-day role as a youth worker. As part of my role I now have to complete, reports, targets, reflections and case studies. These are all skills that I learnt on the apprenticeship but you wouldn’t normally learn them on a youth work course.
I would definitely recommend doing an apprenticeship to other young people and I think there just need to be more apprenticeships available.
Apprenticeships are a really good way for young people experiencing a first time job and getting a qualification and a career pathway alongside it. It’s a really good way of making that first step into employment, but I think there are not enough opportunities for young people to get into apprenticeships.
Download our apprenticeships research report Work in Progress
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