January 14, 2013, by Harry Waddle
Apprenticeship opens doors to employment
After MPs called for ambitious reforms to be made to apprenticeships throughout England in November last year, apprentice Owen Freeman has been quick to praise the opportunities he has been given at The University of Nottingham.
The Business, Innovation and Skills Committee report found that standards needed to be improved nationally and that apprenticeship schemes should be better monitored in order to provide the skills needed to boost economic growth.
However, Owen believes the opportunity to learn skills from professionals and post-doctoral researchers during a paid placement in the University’s Professional Development department, has not only helped his personal development, but boosted his CV and given him a new found enthusiasm to continue his education.
He said: “Being an Apprentice is an amazing opportunity for many reasons, such as, but not limited to: earning experience within a professional and supportive environment, self-development in areas including interpersonal and communicative skills and the chance to meet influential people in addition to the potential offer of a permanent position in the future.
“The Apprenticeship scheme itself is a successful means to many different ends. It takes young, on occasion unqualified individuals and gives them the opportunity to broaden their feeling of self-worth as well as their ‘worth’ to others, by providing experience of a working environment.
“The opportunity to learn from graduates and post-doctoral researchers has also inspired me to consider furthering my education, so that I am able to reach for higher personal goals in the future. As a result I am now considering undertaking an undergraduate degree in Business Administration or Business Management.
“Overall I’ve learnt a great deal during the apprenticeship, and see it as a viable alternative or even addition to the traditional route of undergraduate study. Having previously struggled to find employment, this placement has not only provided me with a job, but offered me much better prospects while affording me the opportunity to continue my education.
“As a result of my experience, I firmly believe that the Apprenticeship scheme should be expanded within the HE sector, and I am extremely proud to have been given this opportunity.”
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