Apprenticeship Ambassador Jordan champions an alternative path to Uni
The Apprenticeship Ambassador Scheme has been running since March 2017 (finishing in July 2018) and is part-funded by the European Social Fund as part of the FutureJobs programme.
The Apprenticeship Ambassador Scheme is designed to help current or recently qualified apprentices gain confidence and communication skills to be able to share their stories with young people across the Leeds City Region. By taking part in communication training and then giving them the opportunity to get involved in careers activities to speak to students about their apprenticeship experience, the ambassadors can talk one-on-one with students about the realities and benefits of being an apprentice.
Jordan decided after A Levels that he wanted to get experience of the working world while still learning and gaining further qualifications. The thought of earning while still learning appealed to Jordan, particularly in a cutting-edge industry like digital where he could learn about up-to-the-minute technologies. Jordan was pleased to secure an apprenticeship at IT consultancy BJSS, working towards his Level 4 Software Testing ISTQB.
Jordan is now in the second year of his apprenticeship (completing at the end of 2018) and became an Apprenticeship Ambassador with Ahead Partnership at the start of the programme.
Jordan says “Even from my first weeks at BJSS I was working on a really exciting healthcare project with real clients, so doing an apprenticeship definitely appealed to me for hands-on learning on the job.”
Jordan found the apprenticeship ambassador training really useful for helping local students understand how an apprenticeship works and why they might choose to do one. He says “the training helped me understand what to expect and what students really wanted to know about apprenticeships. It prepared me for speaking to larger groups of students which I’d never done before.”
Since the training, Jordan has taken part in a Careers Event at his former school, Crawshaw Academy in Leeds.
He says “Being an ex-pupil helped the students relate to me and they had lots of questions about apprenticeships. I was quite surprised at how interested they were because I think there is still quite a lot of stigma around this path. It was fantastic to share my experience with them and show them that there is an alternative to University and there are lots of opportunities in this area.”
Jordan has already secured a permanent role as Junior Software Tester at BJSS when he completes his ISTQB exams and is hoping to study a Level 5/6 qualification next year. He says: “I am proof that you can achieve degree-level qualifications without going to Uni. Being an Apprenticeship Ambassador is a great opportunity to build your own profile and confidence, while sharing the good news about government-backed apprenticeships with other young people.”
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