12th February 2022
Celebrating Parents and Carers Day as part of National Apprenticeship Week 2022, we chatted to recent NSCG apprentice, Jess Potts and her parents to get a parent's perspective on all things apprenticeships.
Q. How did you and Jess first hear about apprenticeships?
A. Ali: Myself and Jess's Dad, Will both work in education, so Apprenticeships came up quite often when students were thinking of their options after college/school. Jack from The Apprenticeship Hub at NSCG would visit Stoke Sixth Form (my previous place of employment) and he gave me lots of information on the Apprenticeships that Jess could progress onto after college.
Q. Did you know much about apprenticeships before this?
A. Will: We did not know the ins and outs of apprenticeships. Only the basics, such as learning on the job at a young age. However, we did not know about assignments, if Jess would be guaranteed a job at the end, or what the qualification actually was.
Q. Did you have any concerns about Jess taking up an apprenticeship over an academic route?
Will: My only concern was the potential to access HE courses in the future if Jess wanted to. However, with the increase of part time HE courses (especially at NSCG), we now know that it could be achieved.
Q. Did you access any resources to support Jess in her apprenticeship choice, and was this useful?
A. Ali: Jess was quite independent with sorting her Apprenticeship out with The Apprenticeship Hub. However we would often sit down and look at the list of current vacancies that the Hub had sent out. With the vast amount of vacancies available, we wanted to ensure that Jess was in a good location and in a placement that supported her future career.
Q. Were you aware of the different apprenticeship levels and how Jess could progress in her career?
A. Will: We were both aware of the different apprenticeships levels and were very pleased that Jess progressed onto completing her Level 3 Qualification. Initially Jess studied the Level 2 Customer Service Apprenticeship and on completion of this, progressed onto studying the Level 3 Business Administration Apprenticeship which she has recently completed. This has now led her to secure a full-time role at NSCG.
Q. What were your perceptions of an apprenticeship and how has this changed whilst Jess has been completing her apprenticeship?
A. Will: I didn’t have as a higher opinions of them as HE options, however I now think they are more appropriate for some students and we can see more benefits over choosing the academic route.
Q. How has Jess changed as a person during her apprenticeship?
A. Will: Jess has definitely matured and become independent as part of her apprenticeship. When she first started, she worked at the Stafford campus full-time and would catch the train to and from work every day. She has grown in confidence and we can see that she feels valued at her place of work and enjoys her job.
Q. Looking back, what would your advice be to other parents?
A. Will: We would recommend that you look into Apprenticeships with an open mind and look at the opportunities that your child can get instead of going to University etc. I would also say that Apprenticeships are very popular now and to expect some disappointments. It may take a few applications/interviews to secure an Apprenticeship but it is worth it in the end.
Ali: I would recommend that you look at all the options for your child and accept what they think is best for them. Jess wanted to start work as soon as she could really and it has worked out very well for her.
Q. Lastly, would you recommend an apprenticeship through NSCG and why?
A. Will: Yes as Jess was supported well through from her employer, who taught Jess a lot about working in a college and the administration that needs to take place to support a department. Jess was also particularly supported well from her Level 3 assessor, who visited Jess often in the workplace and helped with any enquires Jess had with her assignments.
Ali: We are very pleased that Jess has a full-time role at NSCG and are looking forward to seeing how she blossoms in the future.
Find out more about the wide-range of Apprenticeships available at NSCG here.