Earn while you learn

“My apprenticeship has made all the difference”

Sep 1 2016

Apprentice Grace Tyson

I wake up every morning, look in the mirror and think, what a difference. I’m no longer lost like I was a year ago; I’m no longer putting on dresses and heels to look successful without purpose. I put on my uniform, lanyard, hi-vis jacket and boots and say to myself, you have purpose, you have meaning…you have ten seconds to leave this house or you’re going to be late for work!

Those are the words of Grace Tyson, aged 17, who is eight months into a Hampshire County Council apprenticeship, as a member of the Council’s Facilities Management Team. 

Like Grace, the opportunity to earn while you learn is the way to a career for many people who do not go on to college or university for a variety of reasons.

Apprenticeships and trainee schemes offer that opportunity. The County Council has a range of full-time apprenticeship openings, across the wide range of services it provides in Hampshire. In the majority of cases, the apprenticeship leads to full time, permanent employment with the Council.

We’re currently recruiting for more people to join our Health and Social Care Team - just like Kyle Payne, aged 24, who is undertaking a Level 3 NVQ in Adult Health and Social Care. He is also an award winner, having won the Hampshire Investors in Young People Advanced Apprentice of the Year Award this summer.

Apprentice Kyle Payne

Before beginning his apprenticeship as a Community Response Assistant, he was working night shifts full-time at a supermarket.  

He said: 

I was finding stacking shelves boring and repetitive. I had peaked and did not want to climb the retail career ladder. A funded apprenticeship, being paid a good wage while learning and developing new skills, looked like a good career ladder to climb”

He continued:

When I started this course, I knew very little about the world of community care, so you could say what haven’t I learnt? I have received support from day one from my colleagues; from shadowing them, to being given suggestions on how to carry out tasks in a simpler way. They have all been very helpful in my development.

Every day is different. I support individuals to live independently in their own home, assessing their needs and supporting where necessary whether this is with their nutrition, personal care or meeting other goals.  I enjoy the satisfaction of making a difference in their lives.

Those uncertain about an apprenticeship might want to start first on one of the Council’s two trainee programmes.

The First traineeship is for those who have a grade E or below in maths and English GCSE. It includes work experience, volunteering, support to develop the maths and English skills that are crucial in the workplace, and help with employability skills such as CV writing and presenting well in an interview. 

Traineeship Plus is for those who have a grade D or above in maths and English GCSE. It includes a high quality work placement for 20 weeks and support with employability skills and preparation for work. 

Both traineeships lead to a nationally-recognised employability qualification, supported by Reed Employment Agency. Bursary payments are available for participants in both traineeships, which are calculated according to individual circumstances.

The types of work placements usually available include:
  • Business administration 
  • Health and social care 
  • Construction 
  • Other industry sectors such as highways, countryside and catering

Harvey Lynam, aged 18, from Farnborough, completed a traineeship last year and is now an apprentice in the traffic management department, learning HGV mechanics. Harvey said: “If you’re thinking of doing a traineeship – do it! It really helps a lot.”

More information about apprenticeships, traineeships and other career options

Showcasing your future: Wednesday 2 November 2016 3pm to 7pm

Come and see the range of apprenticeship opportunities on offer and find out how you could build a career with one of the largest employers in Hampshire. Entry is free but please apply for tickets in advance.

The ‘Showcasing your future’ event will be held at the County Council’s headquarters in Winchester. Tickets are available via the website, by email hampshire.futures@hants.gov.uk; or telephone 01962 846193 before 5pm on 26 October 2016.

Refreshments can be purchased throughout the afternoon/evening from the coffee shop.