Being an Apprentice is something I never actually thought I would be. When I left school and it was 'decision time,' an apprenticeship wasn't something that massively appealed to me. After not much thought, I started off as most 16 year olds do by going to sixth form, in Sheffield.
As time went on I started to realise this is something I couldn't see myself doing for much longer. This led me to leave sixth form in December 2011 and sit back and think about my options. It was either full-time employment or further education at a college or an apprenticeship. After hours, days and weeks I finally found something that interested me; something that I could see myself doing. An apprenticeship.
I signed up with a company called QA. I went through the application process and after a nervous couple of days I got the letter telling me that I'd been accepted. Now I was one step closer to being an apprentice. All that was left to do now was to find a company in Sheffield. After again days and hours of research I got a phone call telling me a company had been found and I was going to be interviewed. The company was Resolve IT Solutions. Back to research!
After looking at the website in detail and making sure I understood what they did I realised this that this was a company I was particularly attracted to and could maybe work in. At the end of that week who was to know I'd be starting the following Monday! After a successful Interview and call back I was going to be an apprentice. One of the questions I was asked was "Have you always wanted to work in IT?" I had to be honest, and although I wasn't sure it was what they'd want to hear I said "no"; before IT I was determined to be an accountant! This was something I had studied at A-Level in my short time at Sixth Form, and from a young age I had enjoyed working with numbers, and it seemed to be something I was particularly skilled at. It took a fair amount of soul-searching before I realised this wasn't for me. After this I realised I should pursue my second great love; computers and technology.
Kyran and Nathen hard at work
The apprentice scheme I am currently on is very good; I'm gaining experiences in work whilst also studying hard for exams and extra qualifications. This consists of CompTIA A+, CompTIA N+ and a Microsoft 70-680 exam, which will help me towards becoming a Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate. In my opinion this is the best thing about the apprentice scheme. If someone was considering becoming an apprentice I would massively encourage them to do so. I would say to them the fact that you are able to earn and learn and potentially gain extra qualifications equivalent to A-Levels in a specific area is so good and is something that you can't necessarily do if you stayed on at school or went into further education at college.
A major issue at the moment is youth unemployment and in my opinion the government need to advertise apprenticeships more as at the end of the day they're the ones who are funding them. People aged 18+ in particular who are considering University and potentially facing large amounts of debt need to know that there are other options available to them. That kind of sums up as the title suggests... "being an apprentice."