My route to an apprenticeship
I knew school wasn’t for me — lots of my friends wanted to stay on and study, but I couldn’t wait to get out. The week of ‘work experience’ we did in year 10 was one of my favourite experiences; I felt much more motivated and proud knowing that my work was out in the real world and going to make a difference.
So, I wanted to do something that put me straight into the workplace, but allowed me to gain a qualification while I was there. My careers teacher told me about apprenticeships and that was when I started to look into what was available. I applied, then started straight after the summer holidays, after my GCSEs.
First day at work
I chose business administration –often just called business admin - as it seemed like something that would be useful in lots of different sectors. It didn’t tie me into one particular industry. Also, I’ve always been really organised, so I knew it would be a good fit.
When I got there, I was immediately introduced to my mentor. He seemed really nice so that was a relief. I was given a training (induction) schedule for the week — so that was great as I knew what would be coming up. I also had a pack with all the key skills and things I’d be learning over the next few months. I’d be meeting with my mentor every day to tick things off, going over what we’d covered together, and what I'd learnt.
I had a tour of the office, so I'd know where everything was, from toilets to staff kitchen.
One of the first tasks I was given, I had to use a photocopier-scanner for the first time. I was given some scanning jobs to complete. I had to learn the naming protocol and file them on the computer. I like doing stuff like that, making sure everything is all neatly filed in its right place, so that was a nice first job. My mentor praised me for being so efficient, and it was great to get that positive feedback.
The kinds of tasks I did
During my first day at work I covered quite a lot:
- Scanning documents into the system, renaming and filing them
- Reading the company policy on preparing and creating social media posts
- Writing a tweet and sending it from the work twitter account
- Filing some documents away in a filing cabinet
- Entering a purchase invoice onto software called Sage
- Updating purchase order numbers on a database
It never felt like too much, and my mentor checked in with me to make sure I was ok. I loved being immersed in the world of work, so I would recommend apprenticeships to anyone who wants to get stuck in (while gaining a qualification).