“It’s hard to get a job without work experience or a qualification”

Apprentices talk to Year 9 pupils at the John Colet School in Wendover as part of National Apprentices Week
Apprentices talk to Year 9 pupils at the John Colet School in Wendover as part of National Apprentices Week

Three teenage apprentices shared their stories with Year 9 students this morning to round off National Apprenticeship Week.

Lauren Green, Lauren Ruta and Charlotte Bridson visited the John Colet School in Wendover this morning to talk about their experiences after leaving school.

The three girls were talking to the students as part of a challenge run by Bucks Adult Learning, where they were one of several groups asked to come up with a presentation that will inspire pupils to consider an apprenticeship.

Other apprentices have been presenting to different schools across the county throughout the week and the overall winning group will be decided by a panel of judges from Bucks Adult Learning on factors such as planning, creativity, delivery and leadership.

Part of the group was Lauren Ruta, a 16-year-old who started an apprenticeship at Bucks County Council in July last year and is now studying BTEC Level 2 Diploma in Business and Administration.

She found out about the position through the apprenticeship vacancies website, and says she knew it would be ‘a challenge’.

She said: “I was really happy when I got my apprenticeship because I knew that it would be different and a challenge compared to what I’m used to.

“I really enjoy it, I’ve met some great people and I like my job.

“I do various different tasks for different teams. I write minutes for meetings, use databases and spreadsheets, make and answer calls and manage emails.

“I work in the programmes team, but I also work with other teams such as SEN (Special Educational Needs), and I have worked with BFIS (Bucks Family Information Service).”

Fellow apprentice Lauren Green, 19, has been working at White Oak Finance, a financial advisor firm specialising in mortgages and personal insurance based in Beaconsfield, for just over a year.

She is working towards her Level 3 Business and Administration qualification through Bucks Adult Learning.

The teenager said: “Doing an apprenticeship has really improved my confidence and helped me to get my foot in the door in terms of career progression. “I have been really lucky to have been placed at White Oak Finance as they have helped me to realise that ability is much more important than age. “This has really helped me to apply myself to my role.”

Miss Green didn’t want to go to university and found that trying to get a job without experience was difficult.

She said: “It was a lot harder without experience as everyone wanted work experience or a qualification.”

Since starting the qualification, she has learnt a lot about a career she didn’t really know much about and has found that the apprenticeship has fit really nicely with her role.

Her future plans include progressing onto the Level 4 Business & Administration apprenticeship with the company, and would like to see herself in a management role at some point in the future.

Lauren’s employer, business owner Sam Farmer, speaks highly of Lauren and the scheme, saying: “I wanted somebody to bring youth, technology and ideas to the company.

“It’s a big investment in new staff and a big cost especially if you don’t know if they are going to be any good. This worked for me as a business owner.”

“You are given a unique opportunity to lay foundations with an apprentice and this is Lauren’s first step on the ladder.

“I’ve challenged her to see how far she can go and she’s not only done the job; she’s really thrived.”

Bucks Adult Learning is a leading training provider for apprenticeships and are currently helping to train 212 apprentices.

For more information, visit www.adultlearningbcc.ac.uk.