King's Lynn students seize apprenticeship offers at difficult pandemic time
Students finishing their studies at a Lynn high school have got their foot on the career ladder by taking up apprenticeships instead of heading to university.
Heading into the world of work amidst the pandemic has been tough on Springwood High School students in the face of huge numbers of job losses and redundancies.
But many have entered the workforce with gusto, seizing opportunities to take the first steps to their career goals.
Eleanor Ess, from Leziate, has joined Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital as a business administrator in the Unison office. She knew exactly what role she was looking for after she finished her studies after visiting a careers fair at the hospital.
“The work experience I get now will be beneficial in the long term,” she said. “I think people who have gone to university find it harder to get that when they come out the other end of their studies, and I’m getting a qualification while I’m doing this, so I don’t feel I’m missing out at all.
“The apprenticeship is a Level 3 NVQ run by the hospital, and as it’s an apprenticeship, 20 percent of the time is set aside to do something else, so I’m studying for an employment law certificate.
“It’s giving me practical experience and a great sense of independence. Long-term my goal is to get into something like HR, and here I’m working closely with the HR team so I feel I’m in the best place to know what is going on.”
Taking up a role with Lynn accountancy firm, Mapus Smith Lemmon, is Josh Tyers, who is also a student at Springwood.
“I did think about that but I’ve seen how many students can’t get a job at the end of their studies, and in fact after all that study I’d only be at the level I’m already at now, so I decided I’d rather have the security of an apprentice job now,” he said.
“There’s a clear path ahead, of earning qualifications and letters after my name after a certain number of years, and so far I’m really enjoying it and happy with my choice.”
A student from Upwell, Danielle Ellington, has also gone into accountancy, with Milton firm PEM. She said: “I’d been to a few university taster days for the same subject, but none of them really caught my imagination, and after going through all that you’d still need to do four years of work experience, so I thought there were more advantages to going straight out to work and having the company pay for my training as I get the work experience,” she said.
Having made her decision early on, Danielle was then extremely proactive, managing to secure her apprenticeship before lockdown was even imposed.
She said: “Using my initiative was the key. It got me in lots of doors for a chat, and then I shopped around, rather than take the first offer I was given.”