Meet our apprentices

Meet our apprentices

Alicia

Marketing/PR apprentice at Jeanius Consulting

Alicia

When Alicia finished her A Levels in 2012, she found her search for a job in PR and marketing a frustrating one. Her lack of work experience in the sector meant that she hit a brick wall with every job application. However, a simple Google search brought up an Apprenticeship opportunity that would allow her to finally get a foot on the career ladder. The Apprenticeship was ideal for Alicia as it enabled her to gain the valuable experience she needed while continuing to earn.
She said: “My Apprenticeship has helped me get into the industry I want to have a career in by giving me the chance to train while I am in the job role, acting as a sort of stepping stone.
“I’ve learnt so much! There is nothing like on the job experience to learn while you work.
“I find myself picking up a new skill every day, sometimes without even realising it, all thanks to the helpfulness of the staff and the chance to get stuck into just about everything at Jeanius.
“I can implement what I learn from my qualification into my job and ask my colleagues, who have been in the industry longer, for help and advice.”
She now hopes to progress in her role at Jeanius once she’s completed her diploma and would definitely recommend an Apprenticeship to those unsure of how best to get a foot in the door of their chosen career.

Jeffrey

Engineering apprentice at SMC Pneumatics

Jeffrey

Jeffrey was studying for a BTEC in engineering at Milton Keynes College when he first heard of the benefits an Apprenticeship has to offer. Since signing up to an Advanced Apprenticeship in Engineering at SMCPneumatics, Jeffrey hasn’t looked back - he’s currently loving putting the skills he learned at college into practice in the workplace.Having initially seen an advert at College, Jeffrey found out more about the
Apprenticeship opportunities on offer by taking a look at the college website and talking to his tutors.
“I felt like an Apprenticeship might benefit me as it offered an opportunity for me to develop practical skills through work and qualifications at college while getting paid,” he said.
After a successful interview, Jeffrey soon began his apprenticeship at SMC Pneumatics having completed his full time BTEC qualification and has since thrived – he’s now working toward a Level 3 diploma as part of an Advanced Apprenticeship in Engineering.
He added: “Not only has the Apprenticeship paid for my education, I’m working with what I would describe as the best company anyone could wish to work for”.
Not only has Jeffrey been able to build on some of his theory skills learned at College during his Apprenticeship, he’s also constantly been challenged to step out of his comfort zone.
He said: “Through presentations at work and college, my confidence has been boosted dramatically. I’ve also developed a wide range of skills using lathe and milling machines and learned how to start and complete a project. But one of the most important things I’ve learnt is how to manage my time.”
Jeffrey has enjoyed his Apprenticeship so much that he is sure he wants to continue his career at SMC.

Godwin

Former Business apprentice at BSI Group

Godwin

Godwin went straight from the school classroom to the workplace when he completed his A Levels in 2014.
He successfully applied for an Advanced Business Apprenticeship at BSI Group, initially working in an administrative role and progressing as a query and AMF Apprentice in the company’s finance department.
He first heard about Apprenticeship opportunities while still at school and found the BSI Apprenticeship vacancy through the MK College website.
“It was a really good choice for me as I wanted to gain experience as well as qualifications. I was keen to get out there working.”
Working across a variety of departments at BSI has taught him a raft of new skills, from the sort of processes used in the office, to time management and adapting to a working environment.
Having seen what really happens in the boardroom, Godwin now sees the business world in a completely different light. He hopes he will be shown the ropes by members of BSI’s marketing team next. As well as learning from his colleagues, Godwin has made the most of regular visits from his course tutor and online learning resources.
He says he would definitely recommend an Apprenticeship to his friends.
“It’s a great way to gain experience and get used to the working environment while completing qualifications.”

Joe

Hairdressing apprentice at Capa Hair Studio

Joe

Joe is a budding hairdresser learning his trade while undertaking an Intermediate Apprenticeship at Capa Hair Studio. The 18-year-old had already completed a full-time barbering course at MK College before he applied for the hairdressing Apprenticeship opportunity at Capa, wherehe’s now worked for more than a year. At first, Joe was unsure how to take the first steps onto the career ladder, but friends told him all about the invaluable experience offered by Apprenticeships.
“It’s been amazing. I’m learning new skills and getting paid on the job.”
“Not only that, I’m learning more than I would be in College as I’m dealing with real, paying customers.”
As well as honing his personal development skills and learning the tricks of the trade by shadowing senior colleagues, Joe says that working in a commercial hair salon has improved his confidence no end.
“Working with clients has been great. I used to be really shy, but now I’m answering the phones and I understand real customer service,” he said.
Joe still attends College on day release where he is currently working towards hairdressing theory skills and gaining a Functional Skills qualification in Maths. And while the Apprenticeship has been an overwhelmingly positive experience for Joe, he’s also made a big impression on his boss, Paola Greco, Director at Capa Hair Studios. She said: “We’d not had an Apprentice for a couple of years, but we found Joe and he’s been a god send. He just gets on with it, he’s brilliant with the customers and is developing really well.”
Joe would now happily recommend an Apprenticeship to friends and family.

Abigail

Engineering apprentice at SMC Pneumatics

Abigail

When Abbey completed her A Levels, she didn’t want her education to end, but the idea of racking up thousands of pounds worth of debt by studying at university didn’t really appeal to her. An Advanced Engineering Apprenticeship at SMC Pneumatics offered her the best of both worlds – she’s learning a range of exciting new skills and her bank balance remains firmly in the black.
“I didn’t hear about Apprenticeships at school,” she said. “There were some fabulous Apprenticeships around that I didn’t know about. University wasn’t for me, so I decided to go to college to do something practical with Uni as an option further down the line.”
After an interview to study Engineering at MK College, Apprenticeships were suggested as an option. She was introduced to SMC Pneumatics and began work following an interview. Although Abbey found the prospect of adapting to a working environment and meeting new colleagues a daunting one, she’s come on leaps and bounds at SMC. Her Apprenticeship has seen her move around several different departments at the company to ensure that the skills she picks up are as diverse as possible and shape her into a successful Engineer.
“I’m really enjoying it,” she said. “I’ve gained lots of industry knowledge.”
“I didn’t realise what was out there and that I could do any of this. I also didn’t
realise how highly regarded Apprenticeships are.”
Abbey now believes that every youngster keen to continue learning should consider an Apprenticeship as an alternative to a degree.

Stewart

Business apprentice at BSI Group

Stewart

Having just finished his A Levels, Stewart grabbed the opportunity to take up an Apprenticeship as a Standard Controller at BSI Group with both hands. He says his role, which involves keeping a record of business standards and notifying company managers of any changes, has helped improve his confidence
and taught him invaluable business skills. After initially planning to study at university, Stewart decided his career would benefit more from gaining work experience and on the job qualifications than from
moving away from home and pursuing a degree. During his time at BSI, Stewart has honed the art of communicating with his colleagues and clients – something he wouldn’t have picked up in a lecture theatre.
He’s also developed a bundle of everyday skills that are often left off the university curriculum.
“Even simple things like setting up email signatures, structuring emails and arranging meeting rooms, I have learned a lot from other people around the office and there is always someone to ask if you have any problems,” he said.
Stewart has even got stuck in when it’s come to getting involved in office charity fundraisers and events, making him feel like a real team player.
He said: “I would recommend an Apprenticeship to others because the experience really helps build you up.”