Our Creative Apprentice, Harry, reflects on why he chose an Apprenticeship
Date Created: 7th Feb 2020
Doing an apprenticeship is quite possibly one of the best decisions I have ever made. It’s turned me into an adult, ready to shape my career.
Having gone to university for a year before starting my apprenticeship, I can say for sure that I am much more suited to an apprenticeship. Being stuck in a classroom making notes on lectures isn’t really for me and I would find myself easily becoming bored out of my mind and losing focus. I learn by doing and that’s what an apprenticeship really offers that you can’t get at Uni. Even when doing a more vocational course like mine was, there is still a fair bit of theory-based learning to do.
Every university will say that they prepare their students for work after they finish their course. Mine was even one of the only Skillset accredited courses of its type in the country (a status given to courses which give students all the skills they need to go straight into their chosen field of work after they graduate). However, I still had a worry that I would finish my course, graduate, go home and think “what do I do now?”. I don’t have any worries like that with my apprenticeship. I’m already working in the creative and cultural sector and am gaining valuable industry experience along the way. I feel completely prepared to start shaping my career. Universities will boast about the percentage of their graduates that go straight into work, but the number will always be much lower than the 95% for apprenticeships.
At school and college, I felt that everyone was funnelled down the same route – you get your GCSE’s so you can go to college; you get your a levels at college so you can go to Uni. I never considered an apprenticeship, but then nor did my school or college really. They wanted you to take the main stream option, because they wanted for their statistics. There is still this pre-conceived idea that apprenticeships are for those that can’t get into college or university. This I can say, is completely false. There are different level apprenticeships, ranging from level 2 at the equivalent of a GCSE, all the way up to a level 6 degree apprenticeship. It is a shame that so many places consider them the ‘lesser option’. What shouldn’t matter is where you go, it should be whether you feel happy with your decision and whether you are going in the direction you want to go. That’s what schools and colleges should really consider.
Do I regret going to Uni? Not in the slightest. It was an experience, and had I not gone I would have been thinking ‘what if’. It helped me become who I am today so in some respect I am grateful for that. However, I feel much happier in my apprenticeship than I was studying at Uni. I’ve always been a doer not a listener, so this is the right path for me.
Doing my apprenticeship at Artswork really has been a blessing. I get treated like an adult and have responsibility. Not only this, but this is a place where as an employee, you feel looked after and your health and wellbeing comes before everything. I love the team that I work in and I love the work that I do. We also have an amazing apprenticeships team who are always on hand to answer any questions I have. Working in an office, I have walked into an environment that I never thought would suit me. Artswork is such a special place to work and I feel so privileged to be doing my apprenticeship here.