This week is National Apprenticeship Week (9th – 13th March); a week to celebrate the amazing impact apprenticeships have on every person involved. And with facts and figures including an average increase in productivity by £214 a week when an apprentice is hired, well, it’s certainly worth considering hiring an apprentice at the very least!
We certainly thought so when we hired Jordan over a year ago. He’s an ex-apprentice now, being part of the 71% of apprentices that stay with the same employer and 90% that stay in employment once finishing.
So I sat down and had a catch up with him: getting his views on Apprenticeships over university, the journey an apprentice takes and his views now as an ex-apprentice.
So Jordan, let’s start at the beginning, why did you choose an apprenticeship over university?
I wanted to earn my own money. I was coming to the end of my contract at Tamworth Football Club and looking at my options. I could have gone to university, my dad said he would help fund me, but after talking to the rest of my family and friends – some that went to university, some that didn’t – I was advised not to bother. They said it didn’t guarantee anything.
But an apprenticeship provides hands on experience and the chance to learn from experienced workers. I can earn while I learn, something I couldn’t do at university. I was sold on every aspect an apprenticeship could offer.
Where did you find your first apprenticeship role and how hard was it to get placed?
I registered with the apprenticeship website while I was still playing for Tamworth, and after around 3 months I was placed in my first role – it felt like ages, but I don’t think it really was; I was just eager to start.
My first placement was with an engineering recruiter in a resourcing role. I began my NVQ Level 2 in Business and Administration here. I was only with them for 6 months though – I was made redundant along with a few others. But I really enjoyed the role; I loved interacting with clients, being part of the team and the hustle and bustle of a busy, buzzing office. I knew then that I wanted to move onto a similar role.
Where did you go next?
I wanted to continue and finish my NVQ Level 2 – I’d already learnt so much and felt I could learn more – but I also wanted to stay in recruitment. I called a family friend who knew someone with their own recruitment agency. It was with an agency specialising in construction recruitment. I got a place with them as an apprentice and transferred across my NVQ.
I complete my year with them, finished my Level 2 and waited to see if they’d keep me on another year and offer me a pay rise. They wanted me to stay with them for another year and progress to Level 3, but I didn’t feel the pay rise was enough. I contacted an apprenticeship recruiter – who also happened to be my NVQ provider – and asked them if it was fair. They said no. I asked them what I could do next, explaining my passion for recruitment, and I was offered an interview with Mitchell Adam. And I’ve never looked back.
What’s it like working for Mitchell Adam?
It’s honestly great. I know a lot of places say it, but at Mitchell Adam they really do have your best interests at heart. I’m always being pushed and encouraged to constantly develop and progress. They want to see you do well.
And one last question, would you recommend apprenticeships?
Yes, without a doubt! Especially if you want to get into recruitment, most consultants either begin as graduates or they have industry specific experience – like, say for engineering recruitment, a consultant could have worked as an engineer or studied engineering; this first hand knowledge means they have a greater understanding of the complex skills needed within the role.
So an apprenticeship can open so many doors for you when you have little to no experience. Plus, you just don’t know where you’re going to end up, and I find that pretty exciting.