Apprenticeships are an opportunity to gain valuable work experience alongside a qualification, with the prospect of full-time employment at the end. Available in a variety of sectors, some apprenticeships offer the opportunity to gain the equivalent of a post graduate degree.
There are different levels of apprenticeship available and the level which you start at will depend on your current qualifications and the opportunities available in the sector.
Most apprenticeships start at level 2 or 3, with the apprentice gaining work-based qualifications such as an NVQ, and picking up key relevant skills.
Once apprentices successfully complete their level 3 apprenticeship, they can work towards a higher apprenticeship qualification such as a university degree.
Supanja Pueaboonmak-Davies is currently doing an apprenticeship at Acton Gardens with Countryside Properties. She got the position through the council’s Ealing Apprenticeship Network, which helps local businesses to set up placements and then with matching suitable people to the roles.
Last year, Supanja was awarded apprentice of the year at the Ealing Apprenticeship Network annual awards.
She told us: “I wanted to start a career and be independent, and through my apprenticeship I am able to gain a qualification and experience in an industry I am passionate about.”
Councillor Peter Mason, cabinet member for prosperity, skills, employment and transformation, said: “Apprenticeships are an opportunity to gain valuable work experience alongside a qualification, with the prospect of full-time employment at the end. They also provide many with the opportunity to ‘up-skill’, or start a new career in a different field or industry.”
Anyone more than 16 years of age and not in full-time education can apply for an apprenticeship, whether they have recently left school, have been working for years, or are seeking a career change.
Supanja, 40, is studying towards a higher level apprenticeship in site supervision.
She said: “My apprenticeship has opened up so many doors for me. As a woman, it had been difficult to find work in construction, but my apprenticeship has made it possible for me to have a career.”
For more information about apprenticeship opportunities through the Ealing Apprenticeship Network, or about apprenticeships at the council, visit www.ealing.gov.uk/apprenticeships