“It is a great way to start your career in your desired workplace. I’m gaining invaluable experience and will get a qualification,” a photography apprentice called Selin told us. But, as we found out, apprenticeships can help a business as much as they help the apprentice.
For the apprentices themselves, apprenticeships offer a real job with hands-on experience, a salary and the opportunity to train while you work.
Selin Gurung, is an apprentice at Surindera Studios in Southall, a photography and videography business. He said: “I did a bit of research into apprenticeships before applying for one and saw other people’s stories of how it had helped them, and I thought it looked like the perfect fit for me.
“The role has been very hands-on and very varied; and it is a good alternative to university.”
Apprentices earn while they learn and do not pay a penny for their training, which means that, unlike university students, they have no debts to repay when they finish their course. Apprenticeship roles are available at Ealing Council and across the borough. Anyone living in the borough, over 16 years of age and not in full-time education can apply.
‘Not too long, but not too short’
Selin continued: “The apprenticeship lasts for 18 months which is a good amount of time – not too long, but not too short.
“It is a great way to start your career in your desired workplace. I’m gaining invaluable experience in photography and video, and working with customers, and will get a qualification and I am building new skill sets.
“I used to shoot and edit short videos for family and friends and put them on YouTube, which is how I got interested in the industry and now I’m getting to work in it. I want to complete my apprenticeship and then I want to work as some kind of content creator within the industry.”
To find out more about becoming an apprentice, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 8825 6234.
‘It works two ways:’ Want to hire an apprentice?
Ealing Apprenticeship Network, run by Ealing Council, offers free recruitment support to business owners and managers interested in offering apprenticeships placements to residents.
Shaminder Balrai, owner of Surindera Studios in Southall, is a photographer and film-maker. He took on an apprentice last spring after the success of a previous apprentice placement.
“Having someone young in the office and bringing fresh blood, and new perspectives, into the industry are good things,” said Shaminder.
“An apprenticeship works two ways: As well as that new enthusiasm coming into your business, as a company you get an extra pair of hands who can help with the work flow and support your productivity. And, on the other hand, it is nice for the apprentice to get some genuine work experience and a taster of the industry and learn on the job.
“I needed someone to give me a hand and help out with studio-based stuff. Primarily, Selin has been doing back-office work to help me out – post-production of photography and video, editing, and speaking with customers. But we are also doing some training with the camera and he is going to come to a wedding job with me soon to help me.
“I had one other apprentice before Selin and it went really well. She has now gone on to university to study further before working in the same field. She was a great help.”
‘It was fairly straightforward’
Shaminder was pleased with the help he received to set up the apprenticeship role and said: “It was fairly straightforward for me. They advertised the position and then narrowed down the list of applicants for me and helped me to find the right person. The main thing was to have someone with the right attitude and willingness to learn, but Selin also had some creative flair which made me think he’d be the best person.”
To see how taking on an apprentice can benefit your organisation, and to find out how you can receive help to set up an apprenticeship, visit ealingworkwest.com/apprenticeships
Apprenticeships bring real benefits
Councillor Jasbir Anand, the council’s cabinet member for business and community services, said: “We have created more than 500 apprenticeship opportunities in the past two years, as part of our commitment to ensuring our residents are able to progress to well-paid jobs.
“We hope that this demand continues to grow as apprenticeships can bring real benefits to our borough, not just for job-seekers but for businesses too.”
Want to read more?
There are lots more examples of successful placements of apprentices with local businesses. Browse our jobs and skills section if you would like to read more.