National Apprenticeship Week is an annual, week-long celebration of the exceptional work of employers and apprentices across England. It highlights the difference that apprenticeships can make to employers of all sizes and sectors, individuals of all ages and backgrounds, and the effect on the wider economy. The theme for 2023’s National Apprenticeship Week is ‘Skills for Life’, which aims to promote how apprenticeships can help individuals to develop the knowledge required for a rewarding career, and how this in turn has a positive impact on skillset of the future workforce. Inspire Education Group wishes to showcase the success of some of the Group’s apprentices over the past year.
Level 3 Business Administrator apprentice of Peterborough College and Omega Sinto Foundry Machinery Ltd, Lisa Earl, was nominated for Business & Law Apprentice of the Year at the annual Peterborough Apprenticeship Awards. Recognised for her resilience and determination to succeed, Lisa was delighted to have been nominated, and advocates for the apprenticeship route; “I’d definitely recommend doing an apprenticeship, as apprenticeships take a more practical approach, and you still get plenty of support from regular one-to-one meetings with your College tutor and Manager”. She continued, “They’re also the perfect way to earn while you learn! You get to achieve new skills with hardly any cost involved, in comparison to going to university – I think this is a huge bonus in the current climate”. Lisa hopes to take on more responsibility and progress in her role at Omega Sinto Foundry Machinery Ltd.
Imogen Freeborough is an example of apprenticeship success amongst Inspire Education Group staff. Promoted to Senior IT Technician, Imogen Freeborough began her career with Stamford College when she undertook an Advanced Level Apprenticeship in IT, Software, Web & Telecoms Professionals, after taking an interest in IT throughout her GCSE and A Level studies. After successfully completing the work-based training programme, Imogen secured an employed role as the College’s IT Technician, before progressing to Senior IT Technician. Imogen agreed that the nationally-recognised qualifications are perfect for gaining hands-on industry experience; “I would definitely recommend doing an apprenticeship, especially if you are a practical learner and don’t get on well sitting in lessons all day, every day”. Imogen continued, “It was very hands-on, but my colleagues were so helpful and supportive and always on-hand to point me in the right direction. Overall, my apprenticeship was a very rewarding experience”.
Declan Brown completed his apprenticeship with Inspire Education Group partner, inspire+. Declan had a passion for physical education since he was at school, and wanted a job where he could help others – becoming a PE teacher seemed liked the ideal career. In his first year as a PE apprentice, Declan worked four days a week at a local school, and the fifth day training with inspire+. When the pandemic hit, Declan’s training was remodelled to help him to deliver virtual PE lessons that would keep his pupils engaged – Declan did not let these unprecedented times affect his progression. In his free time, Declan participated in a half-marathon, raising £500 to help the school with sports equipment. Given his passion for teaching children and helping the community, Declan advanced to a Level 3 Community Sport and Health Officer apprenticeship, planning and leading PE lessons himself. In recognition of his achievements, inspire+ awarded him as the Apprentice of the Month in September. He was also honoured with the Highly Commended Award at the 2022 National Apprenticeships Awards, and invited to join the prestigious Apprenticeship Ambassador Network, which is sure to open up a wealth of opportunities for Declan.
Will Blower studied Business, Sociology and Psychology at A Level, before enrolling on an apprenticeship programme with a local accountancy firm and Inspire Education Group partner, Anglia Professional Training. Five years on, Will has completed his accountancy qualifications and now runs his own accountancy practice, Realise Finance. In May of 2022, Realise Finance offered work experience to students of Spalding High School, and later in the summer, Will took on his first apprentice, who also receives support through Anglia Professional Training. Joyce Cooper was Will’s Learner Coach for both his Level 3 and Level 4 Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) professional qualifications; “I supported Will and conducted his reviews with his employer at that time. He was an ambitious apprentice and self-motivated through both levels, achieving to a high standard throughout. Tutors were always complimentary in their feedback and found him a model student in class. I now have the pleasure of supporting him as an employer, and also his new apprentice on Level 3 AAT. After almost 7 years at APT, my role is coming full circle with students becoming mentors and managers of new apprentices”. Will concluded by commending his experience of studying toward an apprenticeship qualification, “Weekly classroom-based training, coupled with the hands-on experience, really helped me to develop into the accountant I am today, and I have the apprenticeship to thanks for that”.