16 and clueless
Have you ever thought about taking on an apprenticeship? When I was 16 and leaving school the only thing I thought about doing was going to college for another year or more, because that is all they really promoted at school. It was all “what college are you going to? And what subjects have you chosen to do?” I went to college with no qualifications and a D in both English and Maths, I went to two separate colleges in my area for a year and sat my English and Maths exams again which I failed at both colleges, and gave up because I just thought getting grades wasn’t for me. So, I carried on working at the same hotel where I had been working since I was 15. When a family member mentioned that Hampshire Transport Management was advertising for an apprentice, I thought “no, they would not want me with no grades behind me and not having experience working in an office environment,” but I went for it anyway – and got the job.
Finally knowing what I am doing
Starting an apprenticeship really did help me, not just with gaining experience within an office but also with meeting new people and building work relationships. As part of my apprenticeship I had to pass Level 1 & 2 English and Maths, at the start I thought “oh no, here we go again, I’ll never be able to pass it.” But when I started my lessons my teachers noticed what my problem was straight away –I could not deal with being in a room with a lot of other people. As soon as they changed how I took my exams I passed all four exams first time. Overall for me, joining the apprenticeship programme not only helped me to gain qualifications, it also made me grow as a person and gain confidence that I did not know I had. I have now progressed onto completing a Level 3 which is equivalent to an A level, which I never thought I’d be capable of doing.