Celebrating National Apprenticeship Week

To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week 2020 which took place last week with events and news across the UK, DRPG are taking a look at the apprentices in our area, getting an insight in to their experiences and hearing their thoughts on various topics which pertain to apprenticeships.

Apprenticeships vs Uni

Alex Cottom – Junior account executive
Level 4 Digital Marketing Apprentice at DRPG
“Gone are the days where apprenticeships are dominated by manual trades and are reserved for those who “couldn’t get into uni”. During 2020, the government have pledged to create a further three million apprenticeships within the UK alone and with the ever-evolving positive attitude towards apprenticeships, this number is only going to increase.”

A Day in the Life of an Apprentice

Aaron Wilson – Project Coordinator
Level 3 Event Assistant Apprenticeship
“A lot of people are very quick to say that apprentices are useless, underpaid and just do the coffee run… of course I have done a coffee run before, so has everyone else in the team!
As soon as it turns 9 o’clock my responsibilities are no different to anyone else in my team, I work on the same projects, attend the same meetings, doing the same work at the same pace. As a project coordinator I work with project managers very closely to help work out the logistics of live events. The difference for me as an apprentice is that alongside my work, I will usually have an assignment to complete or some light studying. This helps me to understand a bit more what I am doing on my day to day.”

Getting the Most out of your Apprenticeship

Anna Bale – Project Coordinator
Level 3 Event Assistant
“Start strong…make sure you chose an apprenticeship that suits your skills and potential. It’s better to enjoy your course than drag yourself through it. You need to feel comfortable and see future potential in the sector you have chosen.

“Be a team player: be friendly and polite, offer to help (even if it may exceed your comfort zone). This will help gain credit and make your experience as enjoyable as it can be. Smile and stay dedicated!”

“If you have ideas, shout about them because a bad idea is better than no idea at all! A fresh set of eyes and a fresh point of view can be very beneficial, and colleagues will be very delighted to have you as this advantage.”

“Be inquisitive and curious, question the answers given and always look if there’s a different way around any problem. Being proactive will get you noticed! If you are working for a business that is investing time and effort in you, they want you! So why not make the most of it by adding initiative.
Finally, don’t be scared to get things wrong! An apprenticeship scheme is put in place for you to learn and understand why and how. By going through this it will build your confidence and make you aware of the areas that could go wrong and allows you to see the mistakes before they happen! We’re all learning, all the time, even people you don’t expect, so don’t get yourself down! Just take the experience in and take it all on board, you may learn skills that will last you a lifetime! Work hard and you’ll be one step closer to your future ambitions.”

Why Apply for an Apprenticeship?

Tom Gittins – Project Coordinator
Level 3 Event Assistant
“I never focused too well in a classroom and felt I could apply myself to a task better when it’s interactive and in a work environment. I also really liked the idea of getting paid to learn as it’s a massive incentive to try your hardest, especially when people are going to university and then struggling to get jobs due to lack of experience. This problem is completely tackled by the fact apprenticeships give you not only the qualification but the experience and hopefully a career.”

Tips for others looking to get Apprenticeships or Hire Apprentices

George Howard – Learning and Development Administrator
Level 4 Business Administration
“It’s important to look at what qualification you’ll be getting when completing an apprenticeship. Have a look to see what qualification you’ll be gaining and think about how it will act as a steppingstone for your future career. I know the skills I’m learning will help create the foundation for all my future job roles. Acing the fundamentals gives you a foothold when you start more complex development.”

“One piece of advice for those taking on apprentices is to not treat them as ‘just an apprentice’ but like another member of staff. Give them real tasks, real responsibilities. From my experience, this is where I’ve learnt the most. Doing this, you allow them to learn effectively whilst getting real valuable output from your new employee.”

Advice to suppliers/agencies thinking of taking on an apprentice?

Alex Rule – Warehouse Technician
Level 3 Creative Venue Technician
“It’s really important that anyone taking on an apprentice is doing so for the right reasons. It’s not just an extra pair of hands that you can use and abuse to do the grunt work. You’re in charge of their professional development and learning. They’re not just another employee, they’re a learner first and then an employee. You must make sure that they have all the support they need to develop, progress and learn properly. It’s not just extra manual labour, it’s a development programme and for those not willing to put in the time then it is not worth it for either party.”