Two weeks after I passed my driving test, I found myself standing on the driveway, explaining to my father how I’d managed to not only drive into the back of someone earlier that day, but I’d also just ran into his garage wall. Dad maintains the first thing he did was calmly explain that you don’t really learn until you are ‘doing the do’ and this was all part of the learning experience. Trust me – it was far from the first thing he said but once his blood pressure returned to normal, he did indeed say it.
I often think of this when asked ‘why do an apprenticeship?’. My wonderful (and very patient!) driving instructor gave me the tools and techniques to drive, but it was only when I was actually driving day in and day out, that I truly learnt to apply them. It was a similar experience entering the workplace after three years of University.
One of the many benefits of an apprenticeship is that the training you receive is not only relevant to your exact role and industry, but it is also put into practice immediately. No waiting to pass a test or graduate or find a job, you simply learn and apply in real time. A sure-fire way to get you on the right path within your chosen career.
The other bonus is that, unlike driving lessons or University, you don’t have to pay for your training nor complete it in your own time. The Apprenticeships format was designed specifically to be accessible to all and to achieve this, study time is protected within work hours, and financial barriers are removed. No late-night study sessions or tens of thousands of pounds of student debt here!
Often when I explain to people that there is a way to learn whilst being paid, and without incurring huge debts, they believe that there are only entry level apprenticeship qualifications available. Absolutely not true. Apprenticeships now go all the way to Level 7. Chartered Accountant, HGV Driver, Master of Business Administration (MBA), Chartered Manager, Team Leader, Digital Marketer, Health and Safety Technician, are just few of apprenticeships out there.
Builders’ merchants are a hidden gem for Apprenticeship opportunities. Often overlooked, they offer an array of career pathways including those listed above. The very nature of the industry means that those working within it need to be at the forefront of exceptional customer service. As well as the formal apprenticeship training, Builders Merchants also invest heavily in additional training of their apprentices in the form of online learning, short courses and supplier training, all of which run alongside the formal apprenticeship.
During National Apprenticeship Week, I urge all of you who are seeking a solid career pathway with significant opportunities, to consider an apprenticeship with one of the many members of the BMF. If ever you needed proof that “doing the do” works, this formally dodgy driver now oversees the BMF Apprentice Driver Program.
Find out more about setting up apprenticeships with the BMF’s Apprenticeships Plus service here