I’ve been wanting to write this blog post for a while but I don’t really know where to begin with it. But last week I officially gained my NVQ Level 3 in Business Administration qualification so what better time than now to do it!
I was in school from year 7 – 13 and all throughout I didn’t really have any idea what I wanted to do. My sister was adamant Geography was for her – she went to uni, got her degree and is now a teacher. My best friend knew law was the route she wanted to take – she went to uni, got her degree and is now working towards being a solicitor. All throughout school I felt like everyone knew what they were doing, had a subject they were passionate about or a job they were dreaming of. I didn’t have that. I liked English but not enough to want to write, I loved ICT but didn’t want a career in it. I felt like when it came to Sixth form university was the only option, but I didn’t have a subject I was that passionate about. I spent time looking through university courses, but nothing caught my attention. I decided uni was not for me, and I felt like after that the school didn’t really care about you. If you weren’t going to uni, you didn’t matter and were just told to sit in the common room while everyone else applied.
I sat my A Levels with no route to take afterwards, which may have been a blessing in disguise because I didn’t do so well in my A Levels. So if I’d have wanted to go to uni, it probably wouldn’t have happened anyway. After school, I got a job. Just an office job, nothing exciting. I was there for 6 months and that’s when my mum saw an advertisement for an apprenticeship going in a business 2 minutes from home. Honestly, I hadn’t heard much on apprenticeships but considering I didn’t do the best on my A Levels, gaining another qualification while working sounded like a good choice to make.
I applied for the job and soon after got an interview. The same day as my interview I was offered the job. 2 and a bit years later and I’m still here. I have got my NVQ Level 2 in Business Administration and I have just signed off my NVQ Level 3 in Business Administration, all alongside doing a job I actually enjoy and feel like I am good at doing. I am now trained as a Legal Secretary, something I never thought I would be doing!
There are ups and downs of being an apprentice, the starting pay being one. I was lucky enough to still be living with my parents when the apprenticeship came along. It is not much to live on. Definitely think through your in-comings and out-goings before jumping in to wanting to be an apprentice because it really isn’t a wage you’ll want to live on. I was lucky to do one a little later and turned 21 while doing it so I was legally being paid minimum wage and not apprentice wage.
Despite the pay, I can’t think of anything negative that comes with being an apprentice. Jobs these days require experience as well as qualifications so what could be better than gaining experience of work while gaining a qualification. I have learnt so much about the ‘real world’ of having a job as well as getting a qualification to help me move forward in that world.
I really wish that I was made more aware about Apprenticeships when I was in school because I think it would have given me some hope in the fact that if you don’t want to go to university then it’s not a dead-end. Don’t get me wrong going to university is amazing and choosing that route is something I admire so much. But there are other options out there and it’s not a failure to not go to uni! The same goes with if you literally just want to get a job – you do you!
I do think other routes are being made clearer for people these days, which is great and very helpful to people like me! I just really wish it was as openly discussed as being an option just as equal to university when I needed it.
Hopefully, if someone who feels a little bit lost in the big world of having to know what your future holds can feel a little more confident in themselves knowing that some of us don’t know either! Maybe take a look into apprenticeships near you and see if anything grabs your attention. Like I said I wasn’t expecting this at all but I am so happy the opportunity came up.
In all honesty I still don’t know what I want to do in the future, but being given this opportunity of a qualification and experience in a job will definitely help me if I find a new route that I want to take in life. I am lucky enough to have a future working for my current organisation which I am so grateful for because I do really enjoy my job! Even though it’s a job I never thought I’d be doing, it’s brilliant.
Right now I am so happy with the path that I am on!
If you’d like to know a little more about the job that I do, let me know and I’ll be sure to write a little blog post on that too 🙂
2 thoughts on “Deciding to be an Apprentice”
I found your post very interesting, Beth – and completely agree that schools and learning institutions should make their students aware of all the options available to them, not just university. You should definitely write a post about the day in the life of a Legal Secretary: I’m sure lots of people would be interested to read it.
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Thank you 😊 It’s nice to know it’s not just me who feels like that! X
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