Apprenticeships are available now for 16 to 24-year-olds who want to get a foot onto the career ladder, earn as they learn, and gain a qualification at the same time as training with an employer.
Becoming an apprentice offers the chance to secure permanent employment afterwards. The campaign to support more young people into work is being led by The Sheffield College for National Apprenticeship Week.
The College provides free advice to applicants and employers who want to find out about the benefits and practical steps involved in recruiting an apprentice. For more information, visit http://www.sheffcol.ac.uk/apprenticeships.
One young person who is benefiting from apprenticeships is Louise Wild, a Criminal Justice Drug Worker at Addaction on Sidney Street in Sheffield.
Addaction Sheffield is a specialist drug, alcohol and mental health charity that provides a range of treatment services to adults, young people and communities, and is currently training three apprentices. Visit www.addaction.org.uk and follow @Addaction UK and @AddactionNE.
Louise, aged 20, is completing a Health and Social Care Apprenticeship at Level 2 with The Sheffield College. She said: “My ambition is to get a job in the criminal justice system. I wanted to get into the workplace straight away so an apprenticeship seemed like the right choice for me. Going to university didn’t appeal to me.”
Louise’s role includes being a duty worker, drug testing of appropriate clients, assessments and helping people to access drug treatment, mental health, benefits and housing services. She started a one-year apprenticeship last August, and plans to progress to the Level 3 qualification next.
“I feel a real sense of achievement from my work. I’ve developed self-confidence, as well as teamwork and communication skills, and feel able to handle challenging situations,” added Louise, who has three A Levels in English literature, psychology and ICT, and lives in Derby.
Beth Mottram, Community Engagement Coordinator, Addaction Sheffield, commented: “We are really proud to provide opportunities for young people in our area of work, which is very different to other apprenticeships including those within the health and social care sector. We’ve been very impressed with Louise’s work ethic, commitment and progress.”
She added: “We have created specific roles for our apprentices, which support service delivery. This has improved our drop-in service offer for our service users and benefited the continuity of care that they experience. Our first business administration apprentice secured employment with us afterwards and so the resources put into training and skills development really paid off.
“Recruiting apprentices also gives our employees an opportunity to support and mentor them, which helps our staff’s professional development. I would recommend The Sheffield College to other employers because of the excellent communication we have had from setting up the apprenticeships through to the recruitment and selection process and with the tutors during the training.”
Andrew Hartley, Commercial Director, The Sheffield College, added: “It’s great to see so many employers like Addaction Sheffield supporting apprenticeships in the city. We want to encourage more young people aged 16 to 24 to take advantage of these fantastic opportunities that will help them into employment, and support business growth. Apprenticeships are a smart career option with many young people now considering this a viable alternative to university.”
The Sheffield College is the largest provider of work-based courses in Sheffield and the surrounding areas and works with around 850 employers on apprenticeship programmes. To find out more, call 0114 2602600 or visit www.sheffcol.ac.uk/employers.