Apprentices at Warrington Collegiate are sharing their stories to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week 2016.
Each day this week, we’ll be shining the spotlight on apprentices who are excelling in their current placement.
Today, the spotlight is on Warehousing and Storage Apprentices Claire Skidmore and Lester Roe.
Both Claire and Lester are currently doing a Level 2 apprenticeship in Warehousing and Storage at Travis Perkins.
Claire said: “I chose an apprenticeship because they offer the chance to learn skills on the job and earn a wage at the same time.
“My apprenticeship works really well for me and I’ve learnt lots of useful skills that I can take with me as I progress.
“With an apprenticeship, you get to complete your qualifications without being in a classroom and you get first-hand experience at the same time. If there’s an opportunity to go to the next level, I will take it and my apprenticeship will have given me the foundations I need.”
Lester said: “I started my Apprenticeship with Travis Perkins last February and have loved every minute of it. I decided to go down the Apprenticeship route to help further my career – it’s a great help to finding work in the current climate.”
Also spreading the word about apprenticeships is 21-year-old Olivia Brown, who told her story in the Warrington Guardian ahead of National Apprenticeship Week.
Olivia studies at Warrington Collegiate every Tuesday and spends the rest of her week working at Croft Filters in Risley.
Olivia said that most of her friends went straight to university and she herself spent six months a Sheffield Hallam university before she left to take up an apprenticeship.
She told the Warrington Guardian: “I have been working and learning and earning a living, while my friends at university are always worried about whether they will find a job that they want to do.”
Olivia is studying for her AAT Level 3 Diploma in Accounting and is looking at becoming a chartered accountant, as most people who study accounting at university do.
“You still have the opportunity to do some of the same things that people at university have been doing but without the debts,” she said.
“The apprenticeship has set me up to do that quite easily and because I am working I can put the practical side of my course into the work place.
“It helps me develop a good work ethic – I think the apprenticeship has helped me to get a lot more confidence in the workplace.
“Doing this course and meeting new people has helped me understand what a full time job is really like.”
Neil Burns, co-founder and director at Croft Filters and Croft Additive Manufacturing, told the Warrington Guardian that apprentices are valuable because they bring fresh ideas and help to strengthen teams.
“Apprenticeships not only have the potential to shrink the skills gap, but can provide the industry with what it needs – truly qualified candidates with invaluable practical experience.
“At the same time, they give young people an opportunity to develop a career, encouraging them to learn essential hands-on skills, while providing an academic framework to ensure a rounded education.”
Olivia advised youngsters who are unsure about their options to look at apprenticeships.
“I would tell people to consider carefully what route you want to take – there’s so much information out there now and there’s always going to be something that you will find interesting.”