YOUNG AMBASSADORS

DEVON & SOMERSET REGION

BEN EVE - VICE CHAIR

I’m an Economic Development Office apprentice. My role is varied but broadly consists of leading on and supporting projects that help to improve economic prosperity in Somerset. My Level 4 Associate Project Management apprenticeship is almost completed, in which I have achieved my PMA Level D at Richard Huish College, an internationally recognised qualification, while earning a living and contributing to a wide range of projects.

What is the SWYAAN and what do you do as an Ambassador?

As an ambassador, I take the opportunity to proactively promote apprenticeships in my working life. This includes promoting at work, visiting schools, careers events and spreading the word of the opportunities that apprenticeships can lead to. As a Vice Chair, I help to increase the numbers of ambassadors in Somerset.

What advice would you give to young people who might be considering an apprenticeship?Do it! I was once told by an employer that apprenticeships are the brave way to learn. The ‘Mainstream’ university route is still most widely recognised but with the recent increase of apprenticeships and a new breed of apprentices, perceptions are changing, and employers are recognising the benefits that apprentices offer.

ALICIA HARRINGTON

I am a Marketing Executive at Exeter based Software firm Oneserve. Completing my Level 3 Digital Marketing Apprenticeship with Exeter College two years ago has led me to have numerous amazing opportunities and enabled me to kick start my career and to grow and develop personally.

What is the SWYAAN and what do you do as an Ambassador?

As an ambassador I visit schools and attend events to tell my apprenticeship story to raise awareness with young people who are unsure of how to take the first steps on their career ladder. I work to highlight the benefits and debunk the assumptions and stigma that surrounds apprenticeships. Through my role within the SWYAAN comms team I also work to spread this message across social media.

What advice would you give to young people who might be considering an apprenticeship?

It is possible to get a job in your dream career through an apprenticeship! You can complete one in any industry, at the level that suits you, going all the way up to Degree Apprenticeships. Don’t let people tell you that an apprenticeship can’t get you to where you want to be, because the ability to learn on the job whilst simultaneously developing life skills are invaluable to you and your future.

MICHAEL JONES

I am a Level 7 apprentice studying a Master’s degree at Cranfield University to fulfil the ‘Through-Life Engineering Services Specialist’ apprenticeship standard. Day-to-day, I work in an engineering role on some of the world’s most capable pieces of defence equipment.

What is the SWYAAN and what do you do as an Ambassador?

The SWYAAN is a network of current and graduating apprentices who, through their experience in apprenticeships, showcase the benefits of choosing an alternative route into a successful career rather than the traditional A-levels and university. As an ambassador, I tell my apprenticeship story to influence young people’s options about the opportunities apprenticeships provide: gaining highly sought-after skills, first-class training and, most importantly, experience of working life with the additional benefits of being an employee and a student.

What advice would you give to young people who might be considering an apprenticeship?

If you’re even slightly considering an apprenticeship, go for it! To maximise your chances, ensure that you research the employer and the apprenticeship standard to determine whether it is the right fit for you and your skillset. Once you’re happy, apply! It opens a world of opportunity and you will never look back on.

ELLA HYMANS

I'm a Digital Marketing Apprentice at Exeter College. I work as part of the Apprenticeship Team and therefore engage with both Apprentices and Employers as a part of my day to day role. This can be anything from print marketing to digital/social media marketing to events management.

What is the SWYAAN and what do you do as an Ambassador?

I am a part of the SWYAAN Comms team. This means that not only do I go out to school as an ambassador sharing my story, I also help with the communications and marketing of SWYAAN. I focus mostly on design, creating info-graphics and other resources to send out to both those looking to become an apprentice and current ambassadors.

What advice would you give to young people who might be considering an apprenticeship?

An Apprenticeship is not just for those who can't get into University, it is an equal alternative to University. At my school it was implied Apprenticeships were only for non-academics, but anyone with nearly any career goals can do an Apprenticeship and get where they want to be. I was always more of an academic in school and an Apprenticeship has suited me perfectly because I can learn my job while actually doing my job - rather than just the former.

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