Despite the pandemic, there were over 60,000 apprentices hired in 2020. 85% of these apprentices will then be offered a full-time permanent job upon completion.

There is an apprenticeship in almost every subject from customer service to engineering from GCSE to degree level.

An apprenticeship is a great way to simultaneously gain experience in a working environment and professional qualifications which sets you apart from your peers in mainstream education.

Whilst apprenticeship qualifications take longer than their in-school counterparts, the experience in a working environment is invaluable and makes you more desirable to employers.

Over the past two years we have taken on two apprentices who have done brilliantly and have become integral parts of the Elite team. We turned to them to ask them their experience of using apprenticeships and their thoughts are below!

 

Lara’s point of view

 

I started an apprenticeship at Elite Staffing Solutions in March 2021. My role is an apprentice administrator supporting the Recruitment Consultants within the organisation who specialise in Insurance, IT, commercial services, and accountancy.

I started my higher education at college doing Business and Events Management and found that college was not for me. I always considered doing an apprenticeship but because of the current climate I opted for the safer option of further study.

However, after a few months I decided college life was not suited to me and chose to go down the apprenticeship route. This was a great decision and am enjoying my time at Elite so far!

Applying for apprenticeships may seem difficult and there are many different ways to find one. The way I discovered this apprenticeship was through the government website. It is a great way to find the best role suited to you as it is easy to use.

First off, I registered on the website, once that was completed, I specialised my search. To start off I was not sure on the type of role my preference would be, there are a variety of roles on the website, and it is constantly updated.

This is when I came across the role at Elite Staffing Solutions. The role seemed suitable for me, and I found it very interesting. From there I went through the application process which happened extremely quickly.

Once the recruitment process was completed and I went through all the stages, I am thrilled to say that I was offered the position!

Becoming an apprentice was one of the biggest risks I have taken but one of the best decisions I have made. I really enjoy my time in the office and with the other team members. The bonus of being an apprentice is that you are constantly learning whilst in a full-time role.

There are many other benefits of being an apprentice such as:

  • Earning and learning at the same time
  • Building your experience in the industry
  • Having the opportunity to progress
  • The support received from fellow colleagues and learning off of others
  • Opportunity to take other qualifications that may be industry recognised

This is only the start of my apprenticeship journey, and I cannot wait to see what the future holds from the skills I am learning and developing during this time.

 

Fiona’s point of view

 

When I first started at Elite Staffing Solutions in November 2019, I was doing a role very similar to Lara’s. I have now progressed to Resourcing and work primarily for the Veterinary Team.

After GCSEs I started my A Levels but soon found out it wasn’t for me. I decided to bite the bullet, leave full-time education, and start on my career. Searching for an apprenticeship has definitely gotten easier.

Whilst I applied through the government website, my application got to Elite via the jobsite Reed.

My first apprenticeship, although interrupted by the pandemic, was a very interesting experience.

The guided support and structure provided by college alongside my day-to-day role ensured I was constantly learning, developing my skills, and becoming more valuable to the team so not only was I progressing in my career but also gaining a qualification.

If anyone wonders if I regret not continuing with A Levels, of course I don’t! I am now two years ahead of my peers who, after completing their higher education, are looking at roles similar to mine.

Apprenticeships are definitely something to consider as a step into your dream career at any level. The courses are much more hands on, which provides you with working experience and qualifications which classroom-based learning cannot allow you to do.

They are increasing popularity year after year with a range of opportunities in a range of sectors. It is just about finding the right fit for you. The amount of support that you receive and the opportunities that they can arise from both your employer and the learning provider are valuable. As Fiona and Lara have found, you don’t always know which path to take.

Do not hesitate to try something new; it is definitely a risk worth taking, trust your judgment and challenge yourself.

 

Looking ahead

 

In the next blog MD Emma Warren will reflect on the benefits and successes of hiring apprentices within small businesses.

We will discuss the process we went through when initially starting our search, how we went about interviewing and the onboarding process we took.

If you would like help or advice regarding the hiring of apprentices or more experienced members of staff please do not hesitate to contact the office and speak to one of our consultants today.