Lisa gives us an insight into her apprenticeship experience with Aspex Gallery #NAW2018 #WorksForMe

Date Created: 9th Mar 2018

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As part of our National Apprenticeship Week 2018 celebrations we asked Lisa what makes an apprenticeship work for her, and to share some thoughts on her creative apprenticeship journey so far…

An apprenticeship works for me because it gives me the flexibility to continue learning whilst gaining practical skills in a real working environment. I find this practical style of learning suits me best. When I first started my creative apprenticeship, I was unaware of the different opportunities it would hold for me and how much I would learn in just 12 months.

The skills I have gained throughout my apprenticeship so far vary from leading workshops for children and supporting the delivery of art therapy groups, to coordinating a fairly large group of people- the gallery volunteers. But on top of that it has really helped me to develop my personal skills like communication, decision making, time management and leadership. These are valuable transferable skills that I have learnt from both my training provider Artswork and my employer Aspex Gallery. Gaining these skills has not only prepared me for future work but has also developed me as a person.

Young women sat at a picnic table in Disney princess costumes, one dressed as Belle from Beauty and the Beast, one as Jasmine from Aladdin, one as Rapunzel from Tangled and one as Cinderella with young festival stewards

At the beginning of my apprenticeship, I was able to choose which areas of arts administration I would like to learn about and develop skills in. For example, one of the units I chose was ‘Support Marketing Activities in a Creative and Cultural Context’. Marketing is something that has always captured my interest, and this meant that I got to expand my knowledge on this area whilst reaching all the criteria for the unit in a way that engaged and interested me. Some of the units have been hard work, but when I put my mind to it and fit them into my work in ways that I enjoyed, it became easier.

One of the more personal things I have gained through my apprenticeship is the friendships I have made. Once every 2 weeks I go to Artswork for a day of teaching with all the other apprentices on my course that work in different art organisations. Over time, we all became friends who supported one another along the way, helping each other out where we could. As well as this, I have gained strong friendships through Aspex, which I will continue to carry with me even after I have left.

Two girls smiling in a selfie of them working at an arts festival

The best bit of my apprenticeship so far has to be when me and my friends from the gallery worked at Victorious festival. Last summer, Aspex supported Victorious Festival in Portsmouth by running a tent in the kids arena. We provided activities that fit with our project ‘Surface Tension’ and were responsible for the shop on the main strip. The entire weekend was fun filled for not only the children, but for the staff and volunteers who helped out- it was a really memorable weekend!

Four girls posing in front of a stand inside a tent at an arts festival with face paint on and matching T-shirts- working as stewards

Of course there has been challenges I have faced along the way, the biggest one being finding a way to manage my coursework and work at Aspex in order to meet deadlines. It took a lot of time to figure this out, but after making myself a rough weekly timetable and asking for support when needed, it became a lot more manageable. I think that everyone on apprenticeships will face their own individual challenges, as it can be a big transition moving from just education to education involving full time work. It’s all about how you overcome these challenges and it may take time but if you ask for support you will get there.

Words: Lisa, Level 2 Apprentice, March 2018


For 15 – 25 yrs Work-based learning

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