#LookBeyond

Chelsea Debnam

Apprenticeships are beneficial for both the employee and the employer. After all, they help the apprentice develop skills and earn while they learn and the employer gains a valuable member of the team, who learns to embrace their business culture and way of doing things. To celebrate National Apprenticeship week, Chelsea discusses her experience to date and explains why she would recommend an apprenticeship to anyone teetering on the edge of a big decision.

The theme for this year’s National Apprenticeship week is ‘Look Beyond’ – aimed to showcase the diversity of apprenticeships and how they benefit not just the apprentices, but their employers and the wider community too.

If I had to use only one word to describe my experience of being an apprentice, diverse would be the perfect one.

How has your apprenticeship been diverse and beneficial?

Not only have my day-to-day responsibilities been diverse, the skills I have learnt have varied massively too. From learning how to target specific audiences using different social media platforms, to gaining the confidence to handle press enquiries over the phone, I have been thrown in at the deep end and guess what? I swam.

Since I first walked into the office 18 months ago, no two days have ever been the same. But there has been one constant – not a day has gone by where I haven’t learnt something new or developed a new skill.

I have developed many transferable skills that will help me in a variety of situations throughout my life and grown in confidence as a result. For example – and it may seem like a little thing to you but its huge for me - I now have the confidence to ask someone to repeat themselves or explain something more thoroughly if I didn’t quite understand the first time.

There have been many benefits to taking part in an apprenticeship scheme. The main one is that I have been able to continue learning while working- getting to grips with a day-to-day job and completing the work I need to walk away from my apprenticeship with a qualification in business administration.

Another benefit is that I have been taught by experts, so I know I am doing things the most effective way. I have also been able to put what I’ve been taught into action – with all the benefits that come with hands on learning.

Finally, I have also discovered a career I really enjoy. If I hadn’t had the opportunity to try it out through my apprenticeship, I may never have discovered it.

Would you suggest an apprenticeship?

There are so many different apprenticeships on offer - some short, some long and in such a diverse (there’s that word again) range of industries - that I truly believe there is one to suit near enough everyone.

Of course, if you want to be a doctor or a lawyer or practice medicine, you will need to consider a university course. But if, like me, you just want to get into the workplace and find out what it’s all about, apprenticeships are the answer. They are a great way to get straight into the industry you want while being able to continue education and gaining qualifications. They even offer opportunities to get a degree with higher level apprenticeships.

I found that through my apprenticeship, my confidence has grown alongside my knowledge. The ability to learn from professionals and put what I’ve learnt into practice is something that university couldn’t have offered me.

If university isn’t necessary for your chosen career path or you simply want to dive headfirst into work, then an apprenticeship might be perfect for you.

If you have any questions about apprenticeships, you can read our blog from National Apprenticeship week 2019.

Or you can find out more about apprenticeships here: http://bit.ly/2GTUbA6

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