Ricky and Amy are both successfully building careers after doing an apprenticeship. One became an apprentice at Ealing Council and the other in the private sector; and they did so via two council-run schemes that are both recruiting again, right now.
Apprenticeship with the council
More than 250 young people have gone through the council’s apprenticeship scheme since it started in 2007.
Each apprentice works within a council team as well as studying for vocational qualifications.
Some have then gone into full-time jobs with the council. Others have moved to employment, education or training elsewhere. It involves a one-year training agreement with the option of a second year, and an allowance starting from £210 per week.
Ricky (pictured above, on the right) was one of the council’s first recruits when the apprenticeship scheme began 10 years ago. He graduated and left to work elsewhere – but then returned to the council five years later. He is now working as a property manager at the Copley estate in Hanwell – where he grew up.
“It’s nice to work in an area I know so well,” said Ricky. “And to see the positive things you can do for people’s lives. It is rewarding.”
The choice to do an apprenticeship for Ricky was an easy one. He said: “An apprenticeship was a much better option for me than to go on to college.
“The experience of working within the council has been really beneficial, and when I started my apprenticeship the team I worked in was really supportive and I think that made a real difference. I wasn’t only just given menial tasks to do; they were able to build up my skills and had me doing the same work as the other staff – which gave me confidence and practical knowledge.
“An apprenticeship is a good opportunity, it gets you straight into work and you have the ability to earn while you learn.”
The advice Ricky would give to those interested in applying for an apprenticeship is simple: “Yes, make sure you do it.”
Apprenticeship with local businesses
The Ealing Apprenticeship Network is run by the council and helps local businesses set up apprenticeship placements and also to match young people to the available posts.
The network offers a 10-week programme to help those interested in applying for an apprenticeship.
It includes personalised advice on what type of apprenticeship would be the most suitable based on your skills, interests and ability. Candidates also have the opportunity to take part in workshops which include CV writing and interview practice.
Amy Pearman (pictured) began her apprenticeship with Once Upon a Time Nurseries two years ago, and is now working there full time as a nursery assistant, looking after children aged from three months up to three years.
Amy said: “I had just finished my GSCEs and was considering going back for sixth form, but I decided not to as I’d never been really academic.
“An apprenticeship appealed to me as I’d rather do something hands-on rather than sitting in a classroom, and I had always loved children so working in childcare seemed like the perfect opportunity.
“What I enjoyed most about my apprenticeship was working in a close-knit team, the support I received not only helped me develop skills but grow as a person.
“I think an apprenticeship is really beneficial because learning a skill in the classroom is different to learning on the job. Through an apprenticeship you are applying what you’ve learnt. When you find something you love, you want to learn more about it.”
Amy hopes to continue working with young people, and eventually become a youth worker for older children
How to apply
Vacancies, information and online applications for both apprenticeship schemes are available at www.ealing.gov.uk/apprenticeships or you can register your interest by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org