Apprentice - Niamh

Apprenticeship visit helps Hexham students think about all options

Apprenticeship teams from Northumberland County Council and Northumberland Skills headed to Queen Elizabeth High School in Hexham to talk about the opportunities an apprenticeship can offer those leaving school.

Speaking with approximately 100 Year 11 students at the school interested in their next steps, the team talked about the benefits of an apprenticeship in helping those who prefer a hands-on approach gain the right skills and knowledge for their chosen careers.

Paul Freeman-Myers, Careers Lead for Queen Elizabeth High School, Hexham, said: “It is really important that we give our students an all-round view of what their choices are when they leave school. While some will choose to carry on their education here at Queen Elizabeth’s High School, others may feel that is not the right option for them.

“Apprenticeship programmes could be just what some of our students are looking for to further themselves, and by working with the council and Northumberland Skills we are giving them the chance to find out more about that route.”

Apprenticeships are offered in Business and Digital skills, Childcare and Education, Construction, Engineering, Hair and Beauty, Health and Social Care, Professional Cookery, HR, Highways Maintenance, Horticulture and many others that assist with the day-to-day business of the council. The opportunities are endless.

Niamh McIntyre a current Health and Wellbeing apprentice talked openly about her experience, having previously completed Sixth Form but sharing how she preferred to learn on the job.

Niamh was able to share what a typical week looked like for her, how much she earned and the support she receives as part of her apprenticeship to give students a more holistic view of an apprenticeship.

Apprenticeships offer people aged 16 upwards the chance to learn, gain experience and get paid.

The apprenticeship programme offers apprenticeships from entry to degree level and provides the opportunity to develop skills and experiences while working towards achieving nationally recognised qualifications.

Councillor Guy Renner-Thompson, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “As a council we are committed to opening up opportunities for our children and young people, and working with schools such as Queen Elizabeth High School in Hexham in this way, we are doing just that.

“Together our apprenticeship teams across the council and Northumberland Skills have a wealth of knowledge and expertise they can share with those in their final years of school and answer any questions they may have.

“This collaborative working approach for the benefit of our young people is great to see and I hope it can be mirrored across other schools in the county.”

Applications are now open for a variety of apprenticeships at the council.

Visit to find out more and apply.

For more information on apprenticeships now available through Northumberland Skills visit

There is also a chance to find out more at a virtual event being held on Wednesday 9 February. You can sign up for the virtual event at:
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