Business administration apprentice Kimmy Kimani was named Apprentice of the Year 2020 at the BAME Apprenticeship Awards. To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week (8-14 February 2021), she gives her top five reasons for doing an apprenticeship.
You can ‘earn while you learn’
As an apprentice you get paid and are entitled to earn the National Minimum Wage as well as receiving holiday pay and other benefits as an employee.
“My apprenticeship was actually advertised as a role at the college, I didn’t actually know it was an apprenticeship until the interview stage. I had very minimal knowledge about apprenticeships and a lot of misconceptions as the only thing bits of information I knew were from my high school guidance counsellor who made it out to be something people did when they weren’t very academic, and it was similar to work experience. So as soon as they mentioned to us it was an apprenticeship, I automatically assumed the role was unpaid. I did make a point to ask the interviewer about it and it turns out apprentices do get paid and the wages are very decent too.”
You get to learn from experienced professionals in your workplace about the practical skills needed to be successful in your chosen career. This compliments the training you receive from your college or training provider, meaning you can put what you’ve learnt into practice in a real-life setting.
“One thing that makes apprenticeships great is the fact that you have an apprenticeship mentor who supports you through the learning and a workplace mentor who supports you on a day-to-day basis. Sometimes starting at a new workplace can be tough and you feel as if you’ve been through straight into the deep end but with my apprenticeship I was eased into the role and my mentor was always happy to answer any questions and help me with anything I struggled with.”
Receive a recognised qualification
As well as getting hands-on work experience, you’ll finish your apprenticeship with a recognised qualification.
“My apprenticeship was Business and Administration Level 3, which I completed last March and received a Distinction. This was probably the only time I wasn’t nervous about exams simply because everything we learnt was related back to our day-to-day tasks, the class sizes were small, so we went at our own pace and assignments were tailored to our specific roles.”
Improve your career prospects
Doing an apprenticeship sets you up for you career as it allows you to gain practical experience, receive relevant training and make good contacts within your industry.
“I genuinely enjoyed my apprenticeship as it allowed me to engage and build connections with employees from different levels in the company which was great because I was able to share my expertise with different departments and be a part of some big college projects. I also become the BAME Apprentice of The Year 2020 which is an incredible honour and has allowed to connect with other incredible Apprentices around the country and become an apprenticeship ambassador.”
There’s something for everyone
Apprenticeships cover a whole range of industries and different levels, including degree apprenticeships.
“I was given a choice on which qualification I would like to study alongside my role, and I chose Business and Administration. It tied in well with my role at the college and a lot of the knowledge gained has been very useful for me as a content creator because that’s also very similar to running a business and as it grows I could use some of the skills I’ve learnt.”