Getting the skills to get the job! WAES apprentices in 2018.
WAES, Westminster's adult college is celebrating the 11th National Apprenticeship Week in March 2018 with stories from apprentices past and present.
Our apprentices tell us about their experiences, career goals - and why they embarked on a life-changing learning journey.
Sasha, WAES apprentice and curriculum administrator
Sasha studied anthropology at university until 2017 but wasn’t really sure what to do next.
"I wanted to keep studying toward another qualification but I also wanted the experience of work too."
At first she considered an internship but saw an advert for an apprentice at Westminster Adult Education Service. "I'd not really thought about working in education before, but actually I really enjoy it", Sasha enthuses. "Despite the routine tasks in my role, every day is different and often I have to adapt quickly to new projects."
"The skills I'm learning both in the training and in the workplace are transferrable - so I know that what I'm doing is really valuable." - Sasha, WAES apprentice.
Sasha's apprenticeship will come to an end in a year's time when she's looking forward to further work either in education or in public health - sectors which her training will prepare her well for.
And the advice she'd give to someone considering an apprenticeship? "I did something totally different and I'd encourage others to do the same. The skills I'm learning both in the training and in the workplace are transferrable - so I know that what I'm doing is really valuable."
Manuel, WAES apprentice graduate,
got the skills then got the job!
After 7 years in London working in coffee shops and in retail to pay the bills, Manuel, decided he needed a change in career. "I wanted to progress and reach my full potential - I realised that what I needed was a new profession".
With the high living expenses of London, Manuel couldn't afford simply to study, but had the aim of a long-term career and needed to gain experience.
"I decided that I could use my customer service experience as part of an apprenticeship whilst improving other aspects of my skillset."
Manuel admits that his English language was a struggle to start with, but alongside training in maths and ICT, he quickly adapted to his Learner Services apprentice role, assisting new customers with study enquiries. "I learned quickly about the educational environment - including the complexities of funding - and I was made to feel really welcome in the workplace. My tutor was brilliant, I had all the support I needed."
"It really opened my mind to what is possible." - Manuel, a WAES apprenticeship success!
His apprenticeship led him to improve his English ability to GCSE level - beyond what was expected - and he was offered a role at Westminster Adult Education Service several months before he'd completed his qualification in 2016.
Early in 2018 he was asked to 'buddy' one of WAES's new apprentice recruits, Sasha, who he meets regularly to lend support and share his own experience.
Manuel hopes to study a higher level apprenticeship in the future with a view to progressing to a senior role in the public sector. "It really opened my mind to what is possible. Now I feel even more equipped to help others who are considering an apprenticeship for the first time."
Thinking of studying an apprenticeship? View our
apprentices vacancies page.