Apprentices gain a view from the top
Two apprentices working for major Essex-based employers swapped jobs with the boss for a day to gain an insight into management roles.
To mark National Apprenticeship Week, which ran from 5 to 9 March, the job swaps shined a light on the benefits apprenticeships bring to individuals and employers.
Recruitment consultant apprentice Laura Turner, 26, helps employment and skills organisation Seetec to recruit apprentices, and works with employers to match them to available opportunities. She swapped with Seetec Managing Director John Baumback, who joined the organisation as a 16-year-old apprentice and has worked his way up to running the multi-million pound business, which now employs 1,200 staff.
During their job swap on Tuesday 6 March, they visited Southend United Football Club, where Digital Marketing apprentice Callum Bishop, swapped with his boss, Head of Commercial Rhys Ellingham.
Southend West MP Sir David Amess also attended the football club to mark the occasion and talk with the apprentices about their experience.
Laura, from Leigh-on-Sea, said: “I have only recently started the apprenticeship but I hope it will help me to improve my negotiation skills for managing clients, and help with my personal development. My goal is to progress within the company to a team leader position.
“The job swap helped me to learn leadership skills, and about building a management team and delegating responsibility to other staff members.”
John Baumback explained: “I wouldn’t be where I am now if I wasn’t given the opportunity and believed in. There are plenty of young people out there that, given the chance, will be tomorrow’s leaders.
“When you take on an apprentice, you mould them to the culture and ethos of your organisation. You can watch them growing in front of your eyes. Young people make such a difference to the outlook of your business – they understand how to relate and engage with younger audiences, and they have the enthusiasm and new ideas.”
At Southend United, lifelong Blues fan Callum, 18, from Leigh-on-Sea, said: “It’s a dream come true to come to work for the club. It didn’t seem real at first, and it’s different from what I expected. I didn’t realise how much planning goes into everything.
“I’ve learned a lot about writing creatively, and about organising things. I’ve also improved my video skills, but most of all I’ve learnt about being professional. I’m working to improve my skills as I hope to get a job here at the end of my apprenticeship.”
Rhys Ellingham said: “Callum was the perfect candidate for the role, giving himself the opportunity to further enhance his digital skills and gain qualifications whilst also helping the commercial department move forward and increase revenue with his social media, website and video input.”
As part of their Job Swap day John Baumback and Laura Turner also visited Greensward School in Hockley to speak to students about the opportunities apprenticeships offer.
Laura explained: “I would encourage any young person to apply for an apprenticeship, you can learn new skills and start your career on the job, as well as earn an income. You also gain confidence, professionalism, and team building skills. It opens a lot of opportunities within the workplace for a future career.”
To demonstrate the value of apprenticeships, Seetec encouraged other employers to take part in the National Apprenticeship Week Job Swap.