Meet Georgia, Antony Higginbotham's new apprentice. After successfully completing her A Levels she decided to take on an apprenticeship in Business Administration and has been working in Antony's constituency office whilst attending Burnley College one day a week.
During National Apprenticeship Week we hear what made Georgia decide to take up an apprenticeship over University and how she is finding the decision 4 months on.
What A-levels did you study and how did you get on?
I studied Business, Psychology and History at Sixth Form. My A-levels were challenging but still enjoyable as I learnt a lot of interesting things. Through completing my Business A-level, I realised that it was a career path I would like to take in the future. Due to the pandemic, I didn’t end up doing my exams in the Summer, however, I did end up receiving my predicted grades of A, A and C which I was very happy with.
Why did you decide to do an apprenticeship over university?
I decided to get an apprenticeship instead of going to University because I felt I was ready for a change of environment by starting to work rather than constant learning in a school-like environment. In addition, I didn’t want to build up debt whilst at University through tuition fees and student loans. With an apprenticeship I am earning a wage whilst still getting an education. I hope to build up my knowledge through my apprenticeship in a similar way as I would at University, whilst getting relevant work experience.
How easy was it to look for local apprenticeship opportunities?
For me, I looked for apprenticeships on the Government website and applied for them through there. On the website there was a variety of apprenticeships available, however, I do believe that there was less available on the website at that point than that in usual circumstances. Once I applied for the positions, I was contacted by Burnley college who were really helpful and supportive in finding me other positions and setting me up with interviews.
In your mind what’s the biggest benefit of an apprenticeship?
I believe the biggest benefit of getting an apprenticeship is getting real life working experience whilst also learning skills in the job area you are interested in. In addition, it’s also good to meet people you may not meet in your normal life situations.
Why did you choose Burnley college?
I chose Burnley college due its excellent reputation which I had seen both online and through asking my friends who had previously attended. They offer a wide range of apprenticeships through Themis who were extremely supportive of me even before I had secured an apprenticeship with them. Furthermore, they have continued to support me by offering further courses to run alongside mine to help build up my CV. I also found the modern buildings very attractive as well as the location being very accessible.
What is the balance between study and work?
On my course, which is Business Administration level 3, the work and study balance is 80% work and 20% study. This is a good balance as it allows me to work in my role effectively whilst continue to grow my knowledge through college assignments, tutor sessions and learning new tasks in the workplace.
What are you hoping to get out of your apprenticeship?
Other than my qualification, I am hoping to strengthen my knowledge of working practises to enhance my CV and make me as employable as possible in the future whilst making me feel more confident in the work I produce.
How has the pandemic impacted your apprenticeship?
I’d say the biggest change to my apprenticeship has been home working but that’s just where we are at the minute. Everybody is in the same boat and I’m lucky that both my work colleagues and college tutors have done everything possible to support me throughout. A lot more Zoom calls I’d say.
Where do you see yourself in 18 months time?
In 18 months time, I will have successfully completed my apprenticeship which I hope will enable me to get a higher apprenticeship so I can continue my learning whilst still working and earning a wage.
Would you recommend an apprenticeship?
Yes, definitely! Burnley has an amazing college and the opportunity to earn as you learn is the best part. For me, that was much better than University.