“If you are thinking about doing an apprenticeship – go for it,” is the recommendation of apprentice Syeda.
The council’s Ealing Apprenticeship Network helps businesses to set up apprenticeships and to find the right people to fill them.
Syeda Shahbano Rizvi is one of these people – and is completing an apprenticeship in early years education at Little Honey Bees Day Nursery, Acton.
“Nowadays it is really hard to keep on learning while gaining practical experience. An apprenticeship gives you that opportunity,” she said. “It’s like you are practicing what you are going to do in the future and building a career at the same time.
“I came from Pakistan two years ago and began working here through an agency. I had previous experience working with children with special education needs and I really liked this place, the environment, the children, everything was so good,” she said. “My manager encouraged me to take up an apprenticeship with the nursery and has given me a lot of support.”
‘Opportunity to learn and do job at same time’
Sangeeta Basran, manager at Little Honey Bees Day Nursery, also sees the benefits of hiring an apprentice. She said: “We wanted to encourage apprentices to work in early years because we think it is a rewarding job. An apprenticeship gives someone the chance to learn on the job as well as get paid. We thoroughly enjoy training apprentices up and feel they work just as hard as any other early years practitioner.”
Syeda agreed and said: “The apprenticeship has given me the opportunity to learn and to do my job at the same time. And my tutor from Hawk Training visits to support me in my learning.”
She has now been offered a permanent role in the nursery and intends to continue working as a nursery practitioner. She said: “In the future I would like to go further in the teaching field. I would like to study psychology and continue to help children with their skills.”
‘I would definitely recommend apprenticeships’
Manager Sangeeta said apprenticeships benefit the business as much as the apprentice.
She said: “I would definitely recommend apprenticeships. It works well for both the business and the apprentice in many ways. We see the benefits because we get to train them up to the way our nursery runs. We also find that apprentices usually put more effort in as they are learning on the job as well as getting paid.
“Syeda has fitted in really well with not only the children but the staff. The children absolutely love her and find a lot of comfort in Syeda.”
More than 250 apprenticeships in a year
Councillor Jasbir Anand, the council’s cabinet member for business and community services, said: “In the past year we have managed to generate more than 250 apprenticeship opportunities for residents in Ealing. The achievement would not be possible without the support of local businesses. We hope our new apprenticeship training payment scheme will encourage more employers to create good employment opportunities for young people and those looking for a new career.”
Employers: Free apprenticeship training
To make hiring an apprentice even easier for local businesses, the council has a new scheme to help fund their training. Small-medium sized companies recruiting local apprentices (who do not pay the apprenticeship levy) can call 020 8825 6234 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Want to be an apprentice?
Read the story of another recent apprentice, Sam Smith, who is working in construction.