YOUNG AMBASSADORS

TORBAY REGION

COURTNEY SLATER

I am 18 and an apprentice Technician with a fibreoptic company in Brixham. I attended Spires College and South Devon High School passing all my GCSE’s. Knowing I wanted  an apprenticeship rather than continue my academic studies I did a one-year Level 2 Engineering course which helped me get the apprenticeship with Effect Phototonics.

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

The South West Young Apprentice Ambassador Network is a community of young people passionate about apprenticeships. My goal is to spread the word about how good apprenticeships are, debunking myths about them. I go into schools and careers events to talk about my experience/answer any questions students may have. I also do social media posts about my work with the SWYAAN.

What advice would you give to young people who might be considering an apprenticeship?Keep your options open and look around. Don’t be afraid to apply for more than one job so you can assess the best opportunity, company and future for you. Ask for work experience and don’t be afraid to do work experience with more than one company – this will help in your decision making. Speak to others who are doing an apprenticeship to get a picture of what it is really like and see if they have any advice for you.

OLIVER TYACK

I’m Oliver and am in my first year of a five year apprenticeship to become a chartered RICS Quantity Surveyor working for TDA in Torquay. I study on a day release basis at The University of The West of England in Bristol as part of a Level 6 apprenticeship in BSc (Hons) Quantity Surveying and Commercial Management.

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

They champion the amazing opportunities which apprenticeships can offer. Sometimes
apprenticeships are perceived to be undervalued by businesses and in turn overlooked by young people. In the SWYAAN team we help to change these views, build awareness and share our own experiences. This is why I became an ambassador enabling me to promote apprenticeships at jobs fairs, school assemblies and other community events.

What advice would you give to young people who might be considering an apprenticeship?You get paid, meet a whole range of people, get on the job training from experienced people in the workplace. The support is second to none; you are contributing to the economy, improving the world and have no student debt, which make it easier to have a good lifestyle. What’s not to love? Through this method of learning I am balancing both theory and work experience, understand the context of the job unlike full time university studies. You don’t just learn the industry - you are the industry!

ROSIE UNDERHILL

I’m 20 years old and work in Torbay at a Special Needs School providing specialist education for children and young people that have mild to moderate learning difficulties and for children that are physically disabled. I am currently undertaking a Level 3 apprenticeship in Supporting Specialist Teaching and Learning in Schools. My apprenticeship will take between 18 months to 2 years to complete where I will then be a fully qualified Level 3 Teaching Assistant.

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

Since joining the South West Young Ambassador Network, I have been able to encourage, support and inspire the next generation of apprentices. Being part of the SWYAAN has also given me the opportunity to overturn some of the myths young people have about apprenticeships. I have been able to promote my organisation alongside engaging young people to consider undertaking an apprenticeship after they finish their academic studies at school or college.

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

As an apprentice the advice I would give to someone considering applying for an apprenticeship is as follows:

  • Research all the possible apprenticeship opportunities in your area

  • Do something you enjoy as this will make working life a lot more enjoyable

  • Consider the different levels of apprenticeships

  • Don’t just think in the present look to the future

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