As part of National Apprenticeship Week 2020, we spoke to our youngest and oldest apprentices, Ella Tebble and Jamie Colledge, to get an insight into why they chose an apprenticeship with Intelect, and why they would recommend them to others.
Ella is one of Intelect’s youngest employees, and joined the team in 2019, where she is currently completing her Level 2 Business Administration apprenticeship with Northern Skills.
Joining Intelect in 2005, Jamie started his career as an electrical apprentice, but after deciding he wanted to change his career path in 2017, he started a degree apprenticeship in Electronic Systems Design and Development with Teesside University, and is now an Electrical Design Engineer.
Ella, why did you decide to choose an apprenticeship and what does your role involve?
I chose an apprenticeship as I think that they give you the best opportunity to learn while on the job, as well as being paid for it. As I am doing a Business Administration apprenticeship, my role mainly involves working on the computer, quotations, booking accommodation, answering the telephone, booking training and greeting visitors.
What do you like about your apprenticeship, Ella?
The main reason I enjoy my apprenticeship is that there is a large level of support available to help me learn and improve my skills in the workplace. I am not only learning and gaining new skills but I am also getting hands on experience of the job, which is very beneficial. During my apprenticeship I have met, and been able to work alongside, many kind and supportive people who have helped to train me and develop my skills.
Jamie, do you think your apprenticeship has helped you to grow as a person?
My apprenticeship has helped me grow as person in many areas. It has allowed me to build up my overall confidence, as I am surrounded by likeminded people and other apprentices of similar abilities. This gave me confidence to approach my peers if I didn’t understand something, and has helped me with my professional development as an engineer.
What has your apprenticeship enabled you to do throughout your career, Jamie?
From starting as an electrical apprentice, I have been able to progress up the career ladder by transferring all of my experiences and skills from being an electrician into an experienced electrical design engineer. If I were to have chosen to become an engineer without completing an apprenticeship, I would have had no on-site experience and spent the majority of time in an academic setting with little hands on experience. I feel it is vital to have both academic and hands on experience, as this better equips you for the working world and provides you with transferable skills.
What would you say to other people who are thinking about applying for an apprenticeship, Ella?
If I was to talk to other people who were considering applying for an apprenticeship, I would highly recommend it. It gives you an insight into the real working environment, and allows you to gain skills which can potentially lead to a full-time job. Throughout your apprenticeship you receive dedicated support from your employer, which helps to develop your skills and confidence while getting the same rights as an employee.
What would you say to other people who are thinking about applying for an apprenticeship, Jamie?
An apprenticeship is an excellent route to gain valuable experience which cannot be gained by choosing the academic route alone. By the time you have completed your apprenticeship, you will have had hands on experience and will have received a recognisable qualification to go with it, not forgetting you earn a wage while you learn. It’s also important to remember that apprenticeships are an accessible route to people of all ages and backgrounds, as they can not only help you change the course of your career, but they can also advance your skills and knowledge.
Intelect’s award-winning apprenticeship programme is now in it’s 22nd year, and has seen over 85 apprentices pass through the programme since it started in 1998. We have a wide range of roles to support our business activity, ranging from Accountancy and Business Administration, to Electrical Engineering and Design, all of which are accessible at multiple academic levels.