Last year if you had asked me what I thought an apprenticeship would be like, I would have told you that they are great way to get into a career but I wouldn’t be able to pay my bills on one. That has all changed since I started my apprenticeship at Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust.
Firstly, while partaking in the apprenticeship you are paid well. This means that you can improve your knowledge and career progression while still keeping the bills from mounting up. In addition to this, while working on your apprenticeship you won't be forced to do coursework after work. Your manager, and by extension SPFT will encourage you to pencil time into your calendar to do coursework and research during your work day rather than eating into your free time. I was also offered days where I could shadow another member of staff and ask questions about anything I needed help with during my time as an apprentice.
During my apprenticeship, I never felt like I wasn’t part of the team. In fact, I was given responsibility for projects which I never thought I'd receive as an apprentice, which made me feel incredibly respected as a team member and like I was given every chance to succeed. Following on from this I was invited to the virtual Apprenticeship Awards. These annual awards give your team the chance to celebrate the hard work you do, along with giving you the chance to win a fancy award, which never goes amiss! Everyone even gets a fancy gift bag to take home!
Lastly, one of the biggest things I noticed was that anyone can take an apprenticeship, regardless of age or experience. Like many people, before I started working at SPFT I was under the assumption that you had to be a fresh-faced graduate from school or college to be accepted onto an apprenticeship. That changed when I joined, as I found that there where people of all ages and levels who were working though apprenticeships to improve themselves. This continues even after you finish your apprenticeship, as SPFT offers a range of courses so you can always continue your professional development.