For anyone in (or entering into) the world of work, an apprenticeship might not be the first thing that springs to mind when thinking about career development. But that needs to change, because apprenticeships can offer a huge amount of value. Empowering individuals and helping businesses tackle skills shortages, the benefits can be universal.
However, it’s the experiences of those who have completed an apprenticeship that really showcase the value of this on-the-job training.
Take Louisa Ellis. Since completing a level 3 catering apprenticeship aged 20, she has worked in a Michelin star restaurant, reached the final of Masterchef and set up a successful private dining business.
Or Liz Appleton. Working as a regional manager at Britain’s largest pub group, Stonegate, she took a level 5 apprenticeship in operational management. The skills she gained have helped her progress in both her work and personal life.
Two different people, at two different stages in their careers, but both benefiting from the skills and experience of an apprenticeship.
For Louisa, an apprenticeship offered the best of both worlds – the chance to go straight into work, while also gaining qualifications in subjects such as maths and management. She welcomed the crossover between what she learned on the job and her training: “My learning was in the context of work, whereas if I’d trained in a catering college, I wouldn’t have gained so much real-life experience.”
And there are similarities with Liz’s apprenticeship experience, too. Although her career was already underway, she embraced learning on the job and has gained skills that translate into real-world situations. As she explains: “The self-awareness skills I learned have helped me build stronger working relationships with clients. And my fresh time-management skills let me work more effectively and be more resilient in my role.”
A new-found career confidence is something else the pair have in common. In 2017, Louisa took part in Masterchef: The Professionals. She wanted a challenge and threw herself head-first into the competition. “I honestly felt I had nothing to lose,” she explains. She reached the final four, which gave her the confidence to set up her own private dining company. Hosting six-course dinner parties in clients’ homes, she also runs pop-ups, restaurant collaborations and private classes.
Liz’s apprenticeship might not have prompted her to enter a competitive TV show, but it has given her the self-assurance she needs to advance her career. During her apprenticeship she learned the skills she needed to lead teams, run projects and train new regional managers. Not only are these skills valuable on a day-to-day basis, they have also boosted her career advancement confidence. As Liz states: “I feel ready to apply for an operational manager role if one were to come up”.
Both Liz and Louisa enjoyed their apprenticeships and recognise the difference they made to their lives. Both women speak highly of their training coaches who went out of their way to get the best out of them and make their learning journeys fun as well as educational.
Would they recommend an apprenticeship to others? Absolutely. As Louisa puts it: “Go for it. You only regret the things you don’t try.”
Are you looking for an opportunity to advance your skills, increase your earning power and boost your career? Get in touch with HIT Training to find out about our range of apprenticeships, and see where an apprenticeship can take you and your career.