Being an Apprentice

06 March 2017 By Catriona Thackray

YPO apprentices

Around six months ago, I had to decide what I would do post school.

Scary right?

It was clear to me that the whole school environment wasn’t for me and that I wanted to pursue in something else.  I had always liked business at school, so the opportunity of a YPO Business Apprenticeship caught my eye. The more I looked into it, the more I realised this was way better than college! I would earn my own money, learn new skills and still gain a qualification at the same time.


Writing the application for the apprenticeship was a big step, as I was still in school and I’d never applied to a job before. But don’t let that put you off, I was lucky enough to get an interview! 

On the day I had my interview I sat my Spanish GCSE. The whole thing seemed surreal, I was sat in the school hall taking an exam to sat in a professional environment being interviewed by my future colleagues. That day was weird.

Later that week I got the phone call I was hoping for, i was offered the apprenticeship! I was over the moon.

A few weeks later, I started here at YPO. I love it and the independence I have been given. An apprenticeship provides lots of learning opportunities and challenges, which is a great step for future development.

The department I work in is Procurement. Before working at YPO I didn't even know what Procurement was, so I was interested to find out more about the section and delved right in. Procurement is made up of lots of things. Mainly it relates to the buying and selling of goods to help other businesses run. This can be anything tangible from pens and clothing, to intangible things such as energy and power. The process also involves tenders, which are contracts, and that’s really interesting, I have spent a bit of time with contracts and learnt a lot!
Don't get me wrong, it was difficult adjusting. I was used to doing five hours a day at school being spoon fed my tasks, but in my apprenticeships it’s seven and a half hours of using my own initiative 

In a short space of time, I have developed many new skills and learnt the theory of business through my Level 3 Business and Administration NVQ. I was worried going to college would be too much like school, but it’s not, you are treated as a learning adult and offered the help and support you need. This was quite a change from school, I was using so much initiative that I was using all my spare time to sleep. 

Over the weeks, I got to know some of the other apprentices and built friendships with them, we socialise outside of work together too, which is great.  Despite being the youngest, it is nice to have some people my age group to work with. 

Overall, transitioning from school to an apprenticeship is MASSIVE but WORTH IT. Don’t get me wrong, it’s strange adjusting and being in a different environment, but the growth in confidence and making new friends is brilliant. I’ll never look back, as the knowledge and life skills I’ve gained are priceless.

Scary right? No way. Best decision? Yes way.
 
Categories: Education

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