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Why choose an apprenticeship?

by Jonathan Kearney

Knowing what to do when you leave school can be daunting, but have you considered doing an apprenticeship? It gives you the benefit of learning on the job whilst also earning a wage. Many apprenticeships also lead to full-time employment.

The Knowsley Apprentice programme launched last week with over 80 vacancies going live.

Nursery practitioner, cabinet maker and welder through to a landscaper and electrician, there’s lots of choice available to suit all interests.

But don’t just take our word for it – hear from local businesses and past and present apprentices about why they recruit apprentices and why they decided to go down an apprenticeship route.

Employer Thomas and Steven A Hunt and Associates

“We were fortunate to access the Knowsley Apprenticeship scheme last year, when recruiting for a Junior Design Engineer, which culminated in the successful recruitment of Thomas who is now in his first year at Liverpool John Moore University undertaking a Building Services Design Engineer Degree Apprenticeship. With the support from the Council’s Young Person’s Mentor, our vacancy was promoted within Knowsley as well as to young people the Mentor was working with.

“It was beneficial knowing that the candidates put forward by the Council the required attributes and qualifications to go forward for consideration, but more importantly they had been given advice and guidance on key employability skills employers are looking for.

“In addition to the national government funding, the Knowsley financial incentive package was extremely useful, especially as a relatively small employer. This supported us as a company to assist with the training and mentoring requirements once Thomas had commenced employment.”

Niall Walsh, Assistant Property Manager, Livv Housing Group

 “I always knew that further education wasn’t for me and that I wanted to do something more hands-on. I joined Livv in September 2018 at the age of 19 as an Apprentice Site Manager which enabled me to go to work every day and train on the job, learning new skills and knowledge from my colleagues around me. After the 18 months, I was then offered the role of Assistant Property Manager and I couldn’t be more grateful for everything that my apprenticeship taught me. I wouldn’t be where I am today without it.

“The Knowsley Apprentice supported me to find the right apprenticeship. The shop in Huyton village is a great hub for young people to visit, they’ll help you search and apply for vacancies and offer advice on CV writing and interview preparation as they did with me.”

Aimee and Georgia, apprentices at Scructec 

Aimee said “I started my apprenticeship through the Knowsley Apprentice scheme with Structec (NW) Ltd and have gone onto achieve a Level 2, 3 & 4 qualification in Business and Administration. I now have a leading office role within the company, training those aiming to achieve similar qualifications.”

Georgia added “I have completed a Level 2 Business Administration apprenticeship through the Knowsley Apprentice scheme working for Structec (NW)Ltd. I have received excellent training and support from the company as my mentor has been through the same experience as me. I am now hoping to continue my learning and undertake a Level 3 qualification.”

Steven McDonnell, Finance Advisor – Property, Livv Housing Group

“My apprenticeship not only helped me to develop job skills but it also helped me with important life skills such as communication, time management and teamwork. My overall confidence has grown too. This is why I think an apprenticeship is key for young people, as I’ve been able to transfer those skills through to my current role and in everyday life.

“I’m also really grateful to Livv and the Knowsley Apprentice programme for their support with my AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians), this will help me on my way to becoming a Chartered Accountant.”

Citrus welcomes Owen and Jacob

“In August, we interviewed and selected our two new apprentices. Owen Hankin is our first ever Fire Alarm and Security Apprentice and Jacob Bentley is our Electricial Engineer Apprentice.

“The success of all our apprentices is down to the whole team at Citrus. If you are given an apprentice to work alongside you, make it count! Give them as much varied experience as you can. They have the opportunity to be trained by Citrus colleagues to become some of our best employees, so help them out.”

Claudia Connor, Customer Insight apprentice at Livv Housing Group

“Before my apprenticeship, I was never sure what I wanted to do or be but since being at Livv and being able to explore the different areas of my department, I now have a much better idea.

“I joined in September 2021 and I’ve really enjoyed my time here so far. I’m picking up new knowledge every day from those around me and everyone in the business is so welcoming and easy to approach. I’m treated like a normal member of staff rather than ‘just an apprentice’ – I love getting stuck in and engaging with customers as part of my role.

“I’m so glad that I chose this route as the first-hand experience that I’m getting, as well as the theoretical knowledge from my assignments, will really help me with the next stage of my career. Thank you Knowsley Apprentice for all your support.”

Paul Oliver, Electrical Apprentice at Livv Housing Group

“I’m really enjoying my apprenticeship at Livv, particularly learning the fundamentals to becoming an Electrician and how two days are never the same. Alongside the monthly support I’ve had from the Knowsley Apprentice, I’ve found everyone at Livv to be very welcoming and they’ve made me feel part of the team.”

 If you’d like to find out more about opportunities that are currently available through the Knowsley Apprentice programme, visit the Council’s website.