A view from the inside – National Apprenticeship Week

12 March 2015 | 12 March 2015

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In an age where having a degree has become the norm, you can no longer count on your qualifications alone to get you on the career ladder. This is something I learned after graduating. I left university with a 2:1 in English and thought it would just be a matter of time before landing that perfect PR job I’d always dreamed of.

I secured plenty of interviews for ideal jobs that would kick-start my career, but unfortunately, after working in hospitality for four years, I just didn’t have the industry experience employers were looking for.

I had never considered applying for an apprenticeship; I always thought that they were for people who wanted to be plumbers or builders or electricians. I was wrong. In the UK, there are actually apprenticeships available in more than 170 industries.

Kaelum-NevilleThe great thing about apprenticeships is that a lack of experience doesn’t necessarily work against you. At Sovereign, I’m learning everything I need to know about communications from the ground up, giving me the opportunity to build a really strong foundation of experience and skills.

While I would never discourage anybody from attending university – a degree can be very valuable – I would discourage people from thinking that it is the only route into the career they want. On average around 90% of apprentices remain in employment after they complete their apprenticeship, with 67% staying with the same company.

Undertaking this apprenticeship has been such a valuable experience for me. It has allowed me to learn new skills while doing a ‘real’ job and earning money. It has provided me with the chance to gain extra qualifications and helped me to build confidence and knowledge in my field.

For anybody wanting to get on the career ladder, an apprenticeship can provide that much needed boost onto the first rung, especially in today’s overcrowded job market where hands on experience often packs a greater punch than an impressive CV of academic qualifications.