More than 250 school pupils from schools across Nottinghamshire found out about exciting apprenticeship opportunities at Central College Nottingham’s Apprenticeship Fair on Thursday 17 March.
Pupils from nine schools took part in hands-on activities connected with apprenticeships and found out about a variety of different sector areas like courses in Automotive; Business Administration; Childcare; Construction; Engineering; Health and Social Care; Hair and Beauty; Science and Sport.
Activities included mini table tennis, science experiments, a construction challenge, a mini auto-show including a drag car and electric car, and even a typing speed challenge! Current Central apprentices gave presentations to give a real life insight into life as an apprentice and key employers joined the event to chat to pupils about opportunities in their companies. The event also contributed from local employers who were able to promote their vacancies and apprenticeship offer including Boots UK, British Gypsum, Kia, Nottingham City Council and ZF Services.
Senior School and Events Officer Jane Nutt said:
"We run this event every year to help celebrate National Apprenticeship Week. It’s important for young people to be armed with enough information about the range of qualifications on offer and apprenticeships are a real growth area that we need to showcase. We were supported by a range of key Nottingham employers who really helped make the event a success."
The event was part of the ninth annual National Apprenticeship Week which took place from 14-18 March 2016. The week, which is coordinated by the National Apprenticeship Service, is designed to celebrate apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the economy.
After completing a Business Administration apprenticeship with Central College Nottingham this year, 24-year-old Josh Coales from Wollaton has secured himself a permanent job. He now works as an administration and engraving assistant at TrophyMaster, a leading supplier of personalised trophies, medals, awards and gifts based in West Bridgford.
After completing AS levels at Sixth Form College, Josh spent a few years working in retail for a large company. However, he decided he wanted to go back into education and get a full qualification to help him in his future career.
He did some research on the internet last year and came across a Business Ddministration apprenticeship vacancy at TrophyMaster, which offered the opportunity to gain a qualification at the same time as earning a wage. Josh said: “I was mainly looking for a qualification, but at 24 when I’m looking to get my own place with my partner, the thought of earning a wage was definitely an added bonus!
“During my training I did some workshops at college and my assessor came out regularly to see me, but it’s totally different to say, being at college or school – it’s a proper full-time job. I think this style of on-the-job training suits me better. Having said that, my tutor at Central was very helpful.”
Josh is now enjoying his permanent role with the company.
After choosing the apprenticeship route over A levels, Danielle hasn’t looked back! She completed Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering qualifications through an apprenticeship and then an advanced apprenticeship with Central. Since then, she’s become an apprentice project manager at Rolls-Royce and was invited back to Central to give a speech to the higher education graduates at the most recent graduation ceremony.
“After my GCSEs I wanted to get in to engineering through doing A levels and then going to university but I found I wasn’t enjoying it as it was too much like still being at school, and I’m a more practical, hands-on person. So I got on to an Apprenticeship in Machining, which involved on-the-job training in the workplace with day release to Central College one day a week.
“I was the only girl on my course which was a bit nerve-wracking at first, but the lads respected me for my skill - and actually asked for my help on a number of occasions.
“Without Central and all the lovely people in Engineering I wouldn’t be where I am now.”
After A levels Matthew joined Central College Nottingham to complete a lab technician apprenticeship with BCM, a member of Walgreen Boots Alliance. He now has a permanent job there. Matthew said:
“The chemistry content from college helped develop my chemical understanding and gave me the knowledge I needed to help me understand concepts within the workplace.
The apprenticeship as a whole was good because I could develop my learning and work at the same time, whilst getting paid.
I think both sides of learning benefitted each other. In other words the chemistry at college helped me understand work techniques and work helped me progress my practical skills needed to progress in my qualification."
For more information on apprenticeships at Central visit our apprenticeship pages.