APPRENTICES from a county communications firm have been giving their views on their experiences.

DRPG is currently supporting several apprentices, and they talked about their day to day work as part of National Apprenticeship Week.

Alex Cottom, digital marketing apprentice, said: “Gone are the days where apprenticeships are dominated by manual trades and are reserved for those who 'couldn’t get into uni.'

“During 2020, the government have pledged to create a further three million apprenticeships within the UK alone and with the ever-evolving positive attitude towards apprenticeships, this number is only going to increase.”

Aaron Wilson talked about the day-to-day job, saying: “A lot of people are very quick to say that apprentices are useless, underpaid and just do the coffee run.

“As soon as it turns 9 o’clock my responsibilities are no different to anyone else in my team, I work on the same projects, attend the same meetings, doing the same work at the same pace.

“As a project coordinator I work with project managers very closely to help work out the logistics of live events. The difference for me as an apprentice is that alongside my work, I will usually have an assignment to complete or some light studying. This helps me to understand a bit more what I am doing on my day to day.”

Getting the most out of an apprenticeship is one of the key themes of apprenticeship week. Anna Bale said: “Start strong - make sure you chose an apprenticeship that suits your skills and potential.

“It’s better to enjoy your course than drag yourself through it. You need to feel comfortable and see future potential in the sector you have chosen.

“Be a team player: be friendly and polite, offer to help (even if it may exceed your comfort zone). This will help gain credit and make your experience as enjoyable as it can be. Smile and stay dedicated.

“If you have ideas, shout about them because a bad idea is better than no idea at all. A fresh set of eyes and a fresh point of view can be very beneficial, and colleagues will be very delighted to have you as this advantage.

“Finally, don’t be scared to get things wrong! An apprenticeship scheme is put in place for you to learn and understand why and how.

“By going through this it will build your confidence and make you aware of the areas that could go wrong and allows you to see the mistakes before they happen.

Tom Gittins, another of the DRPG apprentices, said his apprenticeship will set him up for his future career. He said: “I never focused too well in a classroom and felt I could apply myself to a task better when it’s interactive and in a work environment.

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“I also really liked the idea of getting paid to learn as it’s a massive incentive to try your hardest, especially when people are going to university and then struggling to get jobs due to lack of experience.

“This problem is completely tackled by the fact apprenticeships give you not only the qualification but the experience and hopefully a career.”

George Howard, who is studying level 4 business administration, gave some tips for others looking to get an apprenticeship. He said: “It’s important to look at what qualification you’ll be getting when completing an apprenticeship. Have a look to see what qualification you’ll be gaining and think about how it will act as a stepping stone for your future career.

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“I know the skills I’m learning will help create the foundation for all my future job roles. Acing the fundamentals gives you a foothold when you start more complex development.”

Alex Rule, warehouse technician, said the relationship between apprentice and employer is vital, saying: “It’s really important that anyone taking on an apprentice is doing so for the right reasons. It’s not just an extra pair of hands that you can use and abuse to do the grunt work.

“You’re in charge of their professional development and learning. They’re not just another employee, they’re a learner first and then an employee.

“You must make sure that they have all the support they need to develop, progress and learn properly.”