Jemma Nelson Thomsen

Jan 13 2017

I had felt disillusioned towards apprenticeships; a lifetime of academic study, only to see more of it plus a full-time job? I used to grimace at the mention of them.

But after three years of looking for a job and coming up with next to nothing, I decided to take a risk. I applied for an apprenticeship within the Library Service.

The assessment day was a pleasant surprise, a group of friendly strangers getting to know each other and show off a little. There was no competitiveness between us, and we all wished each other luck. I still felt like I'd flunked the one-on-one interview, but it hadn't all been terrifying, which had certainly been a nice change of pace.

I didn't get the position I'd gone for. It was just another disappointment in a long line of them; so imagine my surprise when I got a call asking "How much do you want the job?"

It was much further afield than the position I'd applied for. It would be three hours of travel every day. I was understandably conflicted. I was given a few days to think it over.

It was a long way. I'd be leaving the house at 7 in the morning and getting back in it by 7 at night if the trains were on time. Coursework on top of that? It was a lot to ask.

And it had a lot to offer. An annual salary within the realm of £15,000. A full-time position in a service I have always loved and a Level 2 Diploma. Even if I didn't get a job at the end of it, I'd have an edge. A better chance.

"How much do you want the job?"

More than I'd realised. Enough for early starts and late nights, for homework and e-learning, for travelling everyday to a place I'd never been to before.

I've been an Apprentice for a month, now. And I'm glad the answer was "Enough."