We’re in the middle of National Apprenticeship week now, where countless events have already taken place and so many more are yet to come!
Apprenticeships have been provided by Highfield for years, leading to permanent colleagues and wonderful members of our team. This has also led us to become proud gold member of the 5% club as we continue to ensure opportunities are provided for everyone in a range of ways. Our additional benefits like 4-day work weeks and unlimited holiday, help to create an environment that supports the growth of our colleagues whilst maintaining a healthy work-life balance. This means apprenticeships can feel like less of a workload as more time can be dedicated to your studies without taking over either your work or personal life.
To mark this event, we spoke to two apprentices within Highfield to hear about how their experience has been. Sam and Hannah have both been working here for the last year whilst regularly attending college lessons and completing their coursework and exams alongside the day to day role in the office. Taking each responsibility in their stride, here’s what they had to say…
How have you found your apprenticeship?
My apprenticeship has been a very positive experience because it was a good way to put what I have learnt in the classroom to use in the real world. It has started my career in finance and provided me with practical skills in a job setting.
It’s been good to combine the general knowledge I had at the start with the more specific and in depth lessons, all while being able to apply these new skills into my day to day work. It has helped me to gain a much clearer understanding of marketing and developed my skillset over the last year that I’ve been a part of the apprenticeship.
How have you found working at Highfield at the same time?
I have really enjoyed working at Highfield and I believe it is a great company to do an apprenticeship with as they offer great flexibility and support with college and exams etc. The 4-day week helped me massively as I could use that day to focus on college as well as having a good work/life balance.
It’s made it much easier to put the things I learn into practice everyday and to have had the experience of my manager to help me learn even more. She has been great with giving me the time and space to complete my college work while providing so much support in helping me with the tasks and work set by it too.
Why did you want to do an apprenticeship?
Personally, I had a choice between an apprenticeship or University, and I picked the right one for me. Learning and earning simultaneously was more appealing to me and I think some employers may value experience more.
I wanted to gain the experience of marketing whilst narrowing down my knowledge and expertise to fit the role of a content creator so I could specialize more within that position. I have a University degree for film production but the pandemic hit soon after I graduated so the creative industry had become uncertain and unpredictable, so I chose to focus on using my skills but in a more secure career direction.
What would you change about your experience?
I can’t think of anything I would change about my experience.
Nothing I would really change. It’s been great with Highfield.
Would you recommend apprenticeships to people?
Yes, I do recommend people to do apprenticeships, it’s a great way to get your foot in the door and start a career in something you are passionate about.
Apprenticeships are a much more practical and hands on way of learning which can be far more enjoyable for many people, as well as giving the opportunity to be paid whilst you learn so there doesn’t have to be a choice between education and earning money. I feel that apprenticeships can sometimes be overlooked or people think it’s only for certain industries or jobs, but there really is a wide range of options. It can help to add qualifications and experience to your CV, making it easier to excel in a career you enjoy and give you the chance to experience the job to make sure it is something you want to do.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of doing one?
Go for it 100%, unless you need a degree for what you want to do, I would suggest looking at apprenticeships and start gaining experience as soon as you can.
Look into what work you would enjoy and see what the qualification is at the end of the apprenticeship. Also, make sure it’s a good company to work for, otherwise you risk not enjoying your time or not feeling like you’re getting enough out of it and hesitate to pursue your career any further. It’s a great option especially if you’re unsure about going to uni. You can gain a lot of connections and experience which might normally be missed by going to university.
The chance to earn and learn gives many people a doorway into a career that may not have been possible otherwise, so no matter your background, if you have a determination to succeed, the discipline to achieve, and the drive to grow, then we have some excellent opportunities for you! Speak to our talent acquisition Annie here, or head to our website to see what vacancies we have.