We chat with Hurstwood’s newest addition Jess, about becoming an apprentice, her role in the company and why she chose the path of an apprenticeship.
What is an apprenticeship?
An apprenticeship is a real job with training, which allows trainees to earn while they learn. Apprenticeships come in four levels of qualifications: intermediate (level 2), Advanced (level 3), Higher (Level 4) and Degree (Level 5).
Anyone, who has reached legal school leaving age can become an apprentice, the positives an apprenticeship can offer is you get paid while you learn, this allows you to be self-sufficient while also gaining more skills as you progress through the qualification.
Choice is another advantage of an apprenticeship as there are over 400 different types of apprenticeships, so what ever sector you’re interested in, there will be an apprenticeship for you. And finally, you won’t have the long-term burden student loans can have and the government covers the cost of training for younger people.
Tell us abit about yourself?
I left school in the July of 2017, which feels like forever ago and I am 18 years old. I have a passion and love for animals, this took me to volunteer at the Tameside animal shelter in the small town of Hyde, Greater Manchester for a year, I enjoyed walking the dogs the most.
I took part in the scouts for two years, the most rememberable moment was taking part in the London Remembrance Day in 2016, it was a fantastic day and I assisted a wheel chair veteran, it was an amazing experience. Leaving school, I started to work at McDonalds, the job can be stressful, but it teaches me vital people and team working skills which will help me in my long-term career.
Why did you go down the path of apprenticeships?
After studying both accounting and business studies in college, I decided to do an apprenticeship rather than go to university as although I would have a degree at the end of it, I felt like I needed real work experience in order to gain the skills and knowledge that would help me progress further in my career.
I know that I struggled in college, so working a full-time job and achieving a level 3 NBQ at the end of the 15 months would be the more desirable approach rather than studying at university for 3 to 5 years.
Why did you choose to do a business apprenticeship?
I chose a business apprenticeship because I am currently starting my own drop shipping business where I buy in certain pieces of clothing from a supplier and sell them locally. Although this is successful, I hope my apprenticeship can give me the skills needed to help it grow further.
Alongside owning my own business, I would either like to go into accounting or surveying as a career with Hurstwood as I believe that improving my knowledge of the business world would benefit me greatly, leading me to possibly look towards a degree in surveying alongside working for the company.
How did you find your apprenticeship?
I found my apprenticeship through the Manchester Apprenticeship Academy, I applied for a business apprenticeship with them, attended a welcome day where I wrote out a case file on myself which they would then send to any employer who they thought would offer me the best apprenticeship. Luckily, they thought I would be perfect for Hurstwood with my excellent people skills from previously working at McDonalds and my bubbly personality.
Do you feel that doing an apprenticeship is helping you in your career?
I do think that doing an apprenticeship is helping me with my career as every day I am learning something new which is very important to a business, such as processing invoices, creating supplier accounts, completing daily cash received reports and even going out on sites to see how certain issues with customers are dealt with efficiently and professionally. I am also rotating through different teams at Hurstwood to get a diverse range of experience across the company.
Any advice for someone who is thinking of doing an apprenticeship?
The advice that I would give to someone thinking about doing an apprenticeship is to not do it themselves, go through companies like the Apprenticeship Academy as they are there to help and to thoroughly research the company which they wish to work for as having lots of knowledge on the company shows how serious you are about working for them, making them more likely to want you on their team.