An Interview with Georgia Burton, former Creative Apprentice
Date Created: 16th Oct 2017
Last week, I met with Georgia Burton, former apprentice at Making Space in Havant, to discuss what it’s like to do an apprenticeship in the creative industries and how it compares as an alternative to mainstream education.
What made you want to become an apprentice?
G: I was volunteering at Making Space before with Big World Impact on their Make Your Mark project, so I knew the organisation quite well, and I had done two years of college studying fine art and graphics and had always been quite arty. I found out about the apprenticeship and it’s quite rare to get a creative apprenticeship, I’d never heard of it before, and I found it quite interesting. So I applied but I wasn’t able to start when they wanted me to start because of my A-levels, but I got it pushed back which made me want to do it even more when I knew how much they wanted me. I just love the building and working with the artists and at 18, its good work experience within the creative industry, so I know it’s going to set me up for the future.
What’s your favourite part of being an apprentice?
G: I’m able to do so many different things. Every day is different, and I think especially here because there’s such a small team, only 5 of us, so I am doing different jobs every day whether that’s just in the office or I’m going out to meetings or phone-in sessions or at Artswork. It’s exciting to be able to do all of that.
What have you found difficult?
G: The transition from being in full-time education, like my A-level work, to coming and working every day in full-time employment and doing coursework alongside side that. I found A-levels quite hard and college wasn’t really my thing but the level of work here and how I write the coursework is completely different to what I did in college. So it’s been a hard adjustment, but a good one.
What is one thing that you’ve learnt from your apprenticeship?
G: Professionalism and confidence. Working every day and being surrounded by people much older than me because, apart from obviously training at Artswork, I never am around people my age so I’ve learnt to have that confidence around professional people. That’s good because they reassure me that I’m doing OK and they don’t treat me like a kid. I think that’s really nice. I rarely feel like I’m that much younger than everyone else, they treat me the same, so that’s been useful.
Why did you choose to do an apprenticeship rather than go to university?
G: My choice after college was doing a foundation diploma in art and design, which meant another year of college or doing the apprenticeship. I applied to do the third year and was accepted by South Downs but then this came up, I applied for this as well so I would have both options. This time last year I was deciding which one I wanted and I found it really hard because my grades weren’t brilliant at college and so that foundation year would’ve got me the UCAS points I needed to get into university, whereas this apprenticeship doesn’t, it’s work experience. So I had to make that decision. I thought that as work experience the apprenticeship would be much more valuable to me even if I don’t go on to university. I couldn’t really stand another year in college and now I’ve been accepted into university with the grades I got, so the apprenticeship gave me something more than UCAS points. It made me stand out. I must have been the only person who applied to the course with an apprenticeship.
Words: Caleb Barron (Member of the 15-18 Working Group)
Monday 15th August, 2016