To celebrate Youth Employment UK Month, NCC have took time out to get some insight into the life of one of our apprentices and how their role has advanced throughout their time with the company.
NCC hold a strong emphasis on youth employment, with many of the current full-time staff quota being made up of individuals who originally started life as an apprentice. We have got together with NCC’s newest web support assistant to get his views on apprenticeships.
Working his way steadily through the apprenticeship, Dan was able to learn all the different aspects of the business and gain an understanding of how the industry works. Dan was interviewed for an internal position of web development assistant and passed with flying colours to gain the title. Dan will now focus working alongside the business development team and understanding the technical aspects of web development.
What is your background, how did you get on at school, what made you decide to go into an apprenticeship, what were/are your career ambitions?
I attended a high school in St Helens called Sutton High Sports College which is now known as The Sutton Academy, I attended there from 2005-2010 and passed all of my GCSE’s there. I went on to enrol on the sixth form but when browsing the internet I came across an apprenticeship with NCC, I forwarded my CV on the office manager, Catherine Appleton, and then got invited in for an interview which led to me dropping out of sixth form and then starting here.
Did you enjoy your role as an apprentice?
I very much enjoyed my role as an apprentice as being in that role gave me a chance to learn how the company works, I did work in all departments of the company as an apprentice and gained some vital experience that will help me in the future.
How did you find your apprenticeship, what was the process like, did you have to have certain qualifications or experience, was there an interview?
I found the apprenticeship advertised on a website but instead of going down the usual route of applying through the website I contacted a man at St Helens College directly with my CV who then forwarded it on to Catherine. I got an email back a few days later and got invited into meet Catherine, In the interview I brought a copy of my CV along with any certificates I had obtained beforehand and showed them to Catherine, I had a chat with her regarding the job role and what would be expected of me. By then I had seen the office and was sure that I wanted to work here.
Did your lifestyle or priorities change in any way once you got an apprenticeship?
Before I began the apprenticeship with NCC I was a very cheeky person and sometimes a bit immature, since I started I feel I have grown up a lot and look more seriously at things.
How hard was it to get a job in your chosen field? How many did you apply for before finding the right one?
The apprenticeship with NCC was the first one I applied for in this field so I guess I was quite lucky to get an interview straight away.
How does your permanent role differ from your apprenticeship?
My role I have now is a brand new role the company had opened up, I was the first person to fill it so Im always looking for things to add to my job role. The name title of my position is Website Support Assistant, So I maintain any websites we currently have, monitor traffic, add new content etc, and then I also create any new websites the company may use.
How did you find managing studies alongside working commitments?
Most of the work which went into completing the apprenticeship was practical work which required an assessor to come into the workplace and to monitor me in my everyday role, sometimes she would make a voice recording and sometimes she would just watch and note down what I was doing, There was some written work but I was given spare time in work to complete this so I didn’t struggle with it too bad.
What tips or advice would you give to anybody thinking of getting an apprenticeship?
I would say to people to go ahead if they are looking for an apprenticeship but to choose carefully on what they do and who they do their apprenticeship with. I think a lot of businesses would use the apprenticeship scheme to get work done for cheaper. I have seen apprenticeships advertised for work in corner shops and I just don’t think that is how an apprenticeship should be. So be careful on who you choose to do the apprenticeship with.
If you would like more information on Youth Employment UK please click here. Alternatively, join the conversation on Twitter using the hastag #YouthFriendlyUK