My Apprenticeship Experience - National Apprenticeship Week
Since completing her course, Jasmine has bravely opted to take a different path to the majority of her classmates and instead of applying to university, has accepted an apprenticeship position at U-Explore, a company that offers independent careers advice solutions to schools across the UK.
Jasmine notes: “It’s ironic that I am now working for a career’s advice company, as this was in very short supply during my secondary and college education. Unless you wanted to go to university, information was limited and the only kind of career advice was the odd speech in assemblies, with almost no opportunity to sit down and talk through options, ask questions and get a feel for all of the routes into a career.”
During her time at Secondary School, Jasmine received a great deal of information about the next steps to college or sixth form, but beyond this there was no long-term perspective when it came to what impact her immediate choices would have on her long-term career options.
For the most part, recommendations were given to follow an academic route of A-levels which would look favourable in university applications however, information on other routes, including apprenticeships was minimal.
Jasmine continued: “There was a noticeboard at school that mentioned apprenticeships, however, there wasn’t much information on how you go about applying for them and how they were different to academic options, such as university.”
As Jasmine opted for a college course that offered a vocational route, rather than an academic one, it allowed her to experience a type of education that put her skills and knowledge into real-life scenarios, something she feels gave her a sizeable advantage when it came to applying for an apprenticeship.
Jasmine opted to apply for a position at U-Explore as it fitted her long-term career goals perfectly; with a strong focus in digital marketing and a unique vision for the future which would help her develop her skills in a fast-paced sector.
“When I researched U-Explore ahead of applying for the position, I knew it was the right company for me. It was not only innovative, but it also had a desire to help young people to improve their lives at the core of its business model. The idea that a company wanted to help students make better choices to ultimately ensure a happy and successful career as a long term goal was inspiring, and based on my personal experience of a lacking career advice history, it made me compelled to be part of it.
U-Explore has recently launched a new product called Start, a free online careers guidance product. Jasmine’s role has been helping the team develop and launch the product across England.
“Start is an amazing product and a real joy for me to be working on. Although U-Explore does amazing work in the schools they support, it’s hard to reach everyone but with this new online product, all young people can gain access to its wealth of knowledge.
“It’s basically a one-stop-shop for career information, allowing you to personalise it with your current choices, preferred sectors and general interests, which then gives you suggested career paths and also invaluable advice on how to achieve specific careers.
“As a teenager, it’s really hard to see so far in the future, especially with the pressures of school such as exams and coursework, so having a long-term outlook to what you’re doing is really motivating and can help you focus on succeeding in everything you do.”
For those looking to opt for an apprenticeship, Jasmine advises: “I’m confident that an apprenticeship was the right route for me as it gives me a good balance of academic learning and practical experience. It perhaps isn’t for everyone but that’s the joy of this path, it gives those not wanting to pursue university the opportunity to gain a qualification that also gives you a step up the career ladder. I am hoping that after my year’s placement, I’ll get to stay on at U-Explore as a full time member of the team and help them develop the business to help as many young people as possible.
“If I could give some advice to people looking at their choices I’d have to say to follow your heart and don’t be worried if all of your friends are off to university, it’s not for everyone and there are more opportunities available to you than you realise – something I hope that U-Explore and its Start product will help with in the years to come.”
Find out more at: www.startprofile.com
Wed 16 Mar 2016