I'm a 17-year-old business administration apprentice working in IT projects at Newcastle Building Society.
I first found out about the possibility of doing an apprenticeship when I was in my final year of school. During that year, many people asked what I was looking to do after I finished high school. I always said I was going to go to school sixth form – until a number of my close friends mentioned that they were looking at doing apprenticeships in different trades and not carrying on in school. This made me wonder whether there was a possibility of me going into an apprenticeship.
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The careers advice in my school did not inform me much about apprenticeships – it was more focused on getting you to stay in the school sixth form.
Apprenticeships: 'You earn and learn at the same time'
I wasn’t too sure what to expect from my apprenticeship. I thought I would be doing a lot more apprenticeship assignments instead of doing my day-to-day work. This hasn't been the case – I get on with my apprenticeship during working hours and do not have to do any work outside of my working day.
My day-to-day work entails closely supporting IT project managers with the projects they run. I go to meetings and record minutes and notes for them. I do weekly reports for the projects, as well as status reports, and am also running my own project as a project manager.
I enjoy the work at Newcastle Building Society, and will look to keep developing and working in the department I am working in. It is interesting and it is something that I would like to move forward in and progress in my career.
The best thing I have learned so far is using the whole Microsoft package, especially Microsoft Project. Working in IT projects, I have learned so much about MS Project, and hope for my skills to develop even more in the next few years.
It is an advantage to earn and learn at the same time because you are learning new skills and using them for the company, which helps the business out.
My apprenticeship is different to what my friends are doing, as I am enjoying myself a lot more in my role than my peers are in either sixth form or college.
When I told my family about my apprenticeship, they were very supportive and were pleased to see me develop and go into work and work towards my goals.
One thing people might not expect is that you are still learning and you still have to complete a course for your apprenticeship, because it’s not just a job – its education at the same time.
Luckily, Newcastle Building Society offers apprenticeships at different levels. I am currently doing a level 3 apprenticeship and may move on to a level 4. However, with me wanting to go down the IT project management route, it is likely I will try and become a project support before I move on to and work towards a full project manager.
I would definitely recommend apprenticeships. They are great and I would say to anyone a bit worried about doing an apprenticeship, "Just do it". It is really worth it.
Andrew Taylor is a business administration apprentice with Newcastle Building Society and Learning Curve Group. He tells his story as part of the Tes #InspiringApprentices campaign