For National Apprenticeship Week 2023, we have created videos on what our apprentices do over at our LinkedIn, Twitter & Facebook channels and spoken to our apprentices about how an apprenticeship works.

National Apprenticeship Week 2023
Amy, far left

With the worries of a cost-of-living crisis, now is the perfect time to think about ‘debt-free’ routes into a new career. Apprenticeships are exactly that: an alternative and cost-effective path into a profession that may have felt unreachable otherwise. The biggest appeal of apprenticeships is the ability to earn a salary while training rather than going into full-time higher education and having to supplement this (sometimes to the detriment) with part-time work.

Read on for a Q&A with our Business Recovery apprentice Amy about why she chose an apprenticeship over more traditional education and why she would recommend it to others.

Why did you choose to start an apprenticeship?

I chose an apprenticeship because it is learning outside of a classroom environment. It offered hands-on experience, learning complex skills and gaining skills and knowledge from the people working in the professional environment.

Would you recommend taking the apprenticeship route over more traditional A-Level/University?

I would choose the apprenticeship route over A-Level or University as I began my first-year A-Level studies but didn’t really enjoy it. This led me to do an apprenticeship as it offered so much more such as being paid for working and learning, avoiding student loans, gaining a qualification, and a guaranteed future with a job and career path ahead.

Are there any challenges that come with studying & working? If so, how do you deal with them?

I think the challenge that comes with studying and working is keeping up to date with the workload and the study load. We are relied upon to complete college work and tasks within the working environment.

To deal with this challenge, it is important to have a good balance. Such as knowing what needs to be done first and when it needs to be done. However, we are entitled to 20% of normal working hours to be able to study so this is how I manage my college work and can balance it appropriately. If I can’t complete what needs to be done, we have a full college day every two weeks where we have one-to-ones with our college tutor and finalise our targets set and complete what needs to be done within that day.

What work events have you enjoyed participating in during 2022/23?

The DSW events are a great part of this apprenticeship as we have team-building days. The events I have enjoyed are the Chester races, The Cube and I’m A Celebrity get me out of here in Manchester, Crystal Maze, Business Recovery Karaoke, Muddy Run for charity, and both the Christmas spectacular parties in Manchester.

What is your aim for when your apprenticeship is completed?

My aim for when my apprenticeship is completed is to take more complex case work-related jobs and hopefully in the future aim to become a case administrator.

Thank you, Amy, for participating in National Apprenticeship Week 2023 and letting us gain an insight into what apprenticeships entail!

Find out even more from our apprentices with our Work Your Way series where Chloe & Rachel join Amy in talking about how DSW supports them in their apprenticeship.

If you would like to apply for an apprenticeship opportunity within any of our teams or locations, please email [email protected].