Previous apprentices share their experiences here.
Chelsea – business administration
Chelsea Trewick, business administration level three, started her career at Northumberland County Council as a business administration apprentice level two.
While demonstrating excellent office skills, her long-term goal is to be a primary school teacher. Chelsea progressed to level three and gained a position with Whitley Memorial School, which will provide excellent experience to support her long-term goal.
Chelsea said: “I feel really lucky to work in the school. The apprenticeship programme has helped me to progress my administration skills and to develop skills that will support my future career.”
Lauren - business administration
Lauren Allison worked towards her business administration level three with us. Lauren worked in the chief executive's office, supporting the work of the Olympics 2012 torch relay throughout Northumberland.
Nigel Walsh, county tourism and cultural development manager, said: “The role Lauren played in supporting the 2012 programme was invaluable. She was a great ambassador for the apprenticeship programme and her ability and enthusiasm was recognised throughout the team.”
Lauren said: “My apprenticeship has increased my confidence. I developed my organisational and communication skills to support my administrative role. The experience I’ve gained will support my career in the future.”
Nathan – business and administration
Nathan opted to leave high school after taking his AS Levels. He wasn’t convinced A Levels and university was the route he wanted to follow. He applied for a vacancy on the government’s Find an Apprenticeship site
and was successful in gaining a place within Northumberland County Council’s family and disability service.
“I wanted to acquire real job skills and experience and the apprenticeship programme has provided plenty of both,” said Nathan. He has made rapid progress and achieved his NVQ level two in business and administration in record time.
He is now under way on his level three and continues to impress his work colleagues and NVQ assessor with his positive attitude. Nathan has built a website for Aiming High for Disabled Children, which has added more new skills to his repertoire and CV.
He said: “I’m getting paid while I train and gain qualifications. I see this as a genuine route to a good career either in local government or the private sector.”
Sophie & Annie - early years in childcare
Sophie Fairless and Annie Stoker are currently working towards their level two in early years in childcare apprenticeship programme with us.
They were interviewed for a placement at the Sure Start children’s centre in Hexham. Such was their enthusiasm and desire to learn and work in the early year’s field that manager Lesley Grieve was unable to choose between either candidates and employed them both.
Annie and Sophie said: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the support and learning prospects we have accessed as part of a very well managed and proactive team.
"The apprenticeship is a great start for us, as we are getting involved in a wide range of roles that involve different approaches and skill bases each time. This is certainly giving us a real foundation to build on and we will have many skills for future employment.”
Matthew - information communication technology
When computer wizard Matthew Turner left school five years ago he didn’t plan on going back. Thanks to his apprenticeship, led by our Learning and Skills service, Matthew is back at his old school supporting pupils and teachers with their IT queries, as an information technology (IT) technician.
Matthew has gained valuable experience in the workplace at The Blyth School, Northumberland, and a nationally recognised qualification in information communication technology (ICT).
“I really loved my school days. IT was my favourite subject and I got an A* at GCSE. When I left school I started a college course but decided to apply for an apprenticeship, as I prefer to learn in a more practical, hands-on way. Being able to combine my favourite subject with ongoing training and a rewarding career is the icing on the cake,” said Matthew.
Bridget Knowles, headteacher at The Blyth School, credits Matthew for his hard work. She said: “I wasn’t in this post when Matthew studied here but everyone speaks very highly of him. It’s therefore great to welcome him back as a member of our team.
“Matthew is the first apprentice to be employed by our school and we are very impressed with his progress. His role has become very important to us. As well as supporting more than 1,400 pupils and 180 staff, Matthew fixes hardware, installs software and carries out server maintenance. He also helps with strategic decisions, from planning new IT systems to helping us choose equipment and advising us on software.
“I would certainly recommend apprenticeships to other employers. As well as an opportunity to recruit someone who is keen to learn new skills, apprentices can be embedded in the culture of your organisation. That means they are comfortable with your protocols, procedures and particular nuances.”