SW-AAN Leadership

The Young Apprentice Ambassador Network (AAN) runs in close parallel with the Apprenticeships Ambassadors Network (AAN) and is represented by a Co-Vice Chair on the national AAN Leadership team.

In the South-West, the SW-AAN have a strong team led by a Regional Chair, County Leads and a Comms Team.

Regional Chair

Amy Kyme

I work at Devon County Council as an Assistant Apprenticeship Advisor within Human Resources. Alongside this, I completing my Level 5 HR Consultant Partner Apprenticeship after successfully completing and gaining a distinction for my Level 3 HR Support Apprenticeship. I am the Regional Chair for the South-West AAN.

Being an apprentice allows you to start your career while continuing to learn and gain qualifications, avoiding the debt of Uni. It provides opportunities to develop professionally and personally. My Apprenticeship has helped increase my confidence greatly, something that has also reflected in my personal life too.

Since joining the Network, I have had the opportunity to develop various skills such as public speaking, leadership and communication skills, all of which have directly benefited me in the workplace. I’ve been able to meet like-minded Apprentices who share a passion for promoting Apprenticeships and I’ve had the opportunity to network with different employers across the South-West.  It has opened up exciting opportunities to get involved in – things I would have never expected. For example, I was invited to co-host the Regional National Apprenticeship Awards!

County Leads

The three main roles of the County Leads are:

  • Ambassador Care – Maintaining regular contact with local Apprentice Ambassadors and celebrating their achievements (e.g., school activities; awards).
  • Advocacy – Ensuring local Apprentice Ambassadors are getting involved in activities to inspire and inform young people about apprenticeships.
  • Recruitment – Working with local employers, colleges, universities and independent training providers to promote membership of the SW-AAN.

Cornwall – Charlie Armstrong

Hello!  I work at Pendennis Yachts in Falmouth as an Apprentice Mechanical Engineer and am looking to complete my level 3 Marine Engineering qualification.

Personally, for me, the main benefits of being an apprentice are the opportunities of working within a group of qualified tradesmen and adopting their skills and listening to their knowledge when completing tasks to the highest of standards. I feel that an apprenticeship allows you to adopt a more grown-up attitude towards education. The actions of making sure that I am on time, ready to learn and completing work to the standard that is expected has allowed me to mature as a young adult. Overall, an apprenticeship allows you to get noticed not just on your ability to retain knowledge but to be recognised for how you go about working within a team or the process used when completing a task. An apprenticeship is also a great way of using your hands on the job and uncovering a talent that you may not have ever been aware of when in education.

The main benefits that come from being a part of the SW-AAN are the opportunities it gives me to show people that leaving full time education that there are opportunities other than university. It also allows me to go to different schools and events to show off what my company can offer. As a student that left private education it was always a straight path from 6th form to university. However, after going to an apprenticeships fair and learning that Pendennis could offer me the opportunity to find new skills and still get a qualification this opened my eyes to an alternative.  SW-AAN gives people the opportunity to find out what their alternative could be.  This is the first time that a Pendennis employee has taken on this role and I see this as huge privilege for myself and a fantastic opportunity to show people what apprenticeships can really offer.

Devon – Holly Brimson

I work at Devon County Council as a Graduate Trainee Planner in the Planning, Transportation and Environment department. I am currently completing a Level 3 Business Administration Apprenticeship, and will then go on to complete a Level 7 Chartered Town Planner Degree Apprenticeship. My role in the SW-AAN is the County Lead for Devon.

Being an apprentice is a great way to progress your career whilst gaining a recognised qualification. There are a number of apprentices to choose from, and they all give you the opportunity to learn a whole host of skills in the workplace. Completing an apprenticeship has allowed me to attend events (albeit virtually!) and network with other apprentices, which in turn has massively increased my confidence.

Having graduated from University in 2020, completing an apprenticeship has taught me that it doesn’t matter where you are in your career – apprenticeships can be for everyone and come in so many different levels.

Being a part of the SW-AAN is a great opportunity to inspire and motivate others, for example at school or college events. It’s a great feeling to know you could be having a positive impact on someone and helping them to make a decision with their career or education.

Somerset – Ben Eve

I work at Somerset County Council in their Economy and Planning Team. In May 2020 I completed my Level 4 Associate Project Management Apprenticeship. Now, I continue to volunteer for the Young Apprentice Ambassador Network as the County Lead for Somerset.

Being an apprentice opens up lots of opportunities for networking within an organisation. A big part of progressing in your career is to set a track record for yourself and an apprenticeship is the perfect way to do this. By taking an apprenticeship, you learn on the job while proving your worth to an organisation, which makes demonstrating your experience in promotion type interviews easier!

Being in the AAN has improved my confidence in networking and public speaking. As part of the AAN, we regularly go out to schools and careers events and talk about our apprenticeship journey. This is the perfect way to get used to public speaking, with a presentation about yourself that you can continue to practise, refine and improve.

West of England – Sam Clarke

Hi, I’m Sam. Here is a little bit about me! I started my Level 6 Apprenticeship (Degree Level) studying Mechanical Engineering at the age of 18. For almost 2 years I have been a Vice-Chair/County Lead for the YAAN (Young Apprentice Ambassador Network), where I have attended many events that include talking to the younger generation about apprenticeships and career options. I also participate in company events for Edwards, such as the Big Bang where I talk to school children about STEM subjects and why they are amazing! This includes going into schools and talking to students studying for their A levels and who would like more information about career options/how they could obtain an apprenticeship.

West of England – Joe Turner

Hello! I’m Joe and I’ve been on a mechanical engineering apprenticeship since 2018 working at Edwards Vacuum. Throughout my apprenticeship I have worked to organise and support careers events to help to promote the amazing opportunity of apprenticeships. I contribute to this within my workplace at Edwards and as my role as county lead for the West of England area of the YAAN. As an Ambassador I attend a variety of careers and apprenticeship events with the aim of spreading awareness and information about apprenticeships. I’ve found that being part of the YAAN has given me a lot of opportunities, and I have seen how sharing my apprenticeship story can have a positive effect and help others to make choices about their future careers.

Gloucestershire – Lucy Hanman

I work at Stroud District Council, which is the local government authority for the district of Stroud. I completed a Level 3 Business Administration apprenticeship in 2021 and now I am a Business Support Assistant for the Systems & Improvement team. In the SW-AAN, I am the County Lead for Gloucestershire.

There are so many benefits that come from undertaking an apprenticeship, but the main ones for me have been confidence building and learning a new skill every day. Having confidence is something that I’ve always struggled with but being an apprentice has increased my confidence levels enormously.

Since joining the SW-AAN I’ve become more comfortable with presenting to large audiences and networking with lots of enthusiastic, motivated young people – most of which I would have never crossed paths with had I not signed up to the SW-AAN. I always say the best kinds of apprentices are the ones which never stop learning, and the SW-AAN is a great place to grow your skills and meet likeminded people who can support you throughout your apprenticeship journey.

Swindon & Wiltshire - Vacant position

Expressions of interest from Wiltshire-based apprentices can be submitted to SWAAN@southwestwater.co.uk

Apprentice Ambassador Job Description

Comms Team

The Comms Team work online, typically via social media or video channels.

The three main roles of the Comms Team are:

  • Ambassador Care – Maintaining regular contact with the Regional Chair and County Leads and celebrating their achievements (e.g., school activities; awards).
  • Advocacy – Inspiring and informing young people about apprenticeships, via social media and video channels, based on:
    • Central campaigns - e.g., National Apprenticeship Week; National Apprenticeships Awards
    • Collaborating with the County Leads to celebrate and promote the activities of the Apprentice Ambassadors locally
  • Recruitment – Promoting membership of the SW-AAN.

Comms Lead – Ellie Martin

Hello I'm Ellie! I work for Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust as an Apprenticeships & Careers Engagement Officer where I work within the local community to support young people with their careers prospects. Previously I have completed Level 2 & 3 Business Administration Apprenticeships within the education sector. Currently I am the SWAAN Comms Lead so along with my team we run all our social medias channels to ensure we aim to support ambassadors within the network.

Choosing to become an apprentice, you take charge to gain the best learning path for your career - you could get to choose the apprenticeship programme, which employer, which training provider and most of all you choose your own success and goals for your futures. That's what I love about apprenticeships the most!

SWAAN have presented me with many opportunities to develop my knowledge and skills in the following aspects:

  • Networking
  • Public Speaking
  • Leadership and Management
  • Communication Skills
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Attendance of awards panels, apprenticeships talks and events to promote apprenticeships
  • Working with local apprentices , employers, and partners within the South West

Please feel to contact me or SWAAN Comms Team on swaancommsteam@outlook.com to discuss Comms prospects with the South West Apprenticeship Ambassador Network.

Analytics - Ella Bell

I work for Babcock International, and I am currently completing a Digital & Technology Solutions Degree Apprenticeship – specialising in Data Analysis.

I think that becoming an apprentice is extremely beneficial for your career because you are given the opportunity to gain technical knowledge through academic studies, whilst at the same time gaining professional experience in a genuine workplace.

Joining the SW-AAN provides an excellent opportunity to develop your personal & professional skills, such as public speaking and networking, whilst also inspiring and spreading a positive message to young people.

Instagram - Vacant Position

Twitter – Vacant Position

Video Content - Vacant Position