Becoming an Apprentice
by Tara Hewison

An apprenticeship isn’t always the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of education after school, but for me it was the right decision. I debated whether it would be better to go and do my A Levels to get into Uni and do a degree to then get a job, but finally thought that for me, it would be best to earn whilst I learn. My older sisters also began their careers by being apprentices and have worked their way up which really inspired me because it shows that you don’t have to go to somewhere like college in order to make a good future for yourself, so when I saw the opportunity to apply for an apprenticeship with Smart, I was really keen to apply.

My apprenticeship has given me the opportunity to go straight into a full-time job whilst also being in education- I’m gaining experience, a qualification and getting paid which means that I don’t have to worry about being in Uni debt and getting a job on the side and having the stress of studying and trying to have money separately. On the weekends I can spend my earnings on going out with friends and doing stuff I enjoy!

I learn best when I am doing the job at hand, so for me, to be in a business environment and to be doing tasks is much more helpful than listening to a lecture because it could go in one ear and out the other. My job role is an apprentice administrator which means that I perform a range of admin tasks and my job is mostly based around a computer. This means it’s familiarising me with using IT and I’m getting a lot quicker as the days go on- it used to take me a few minutes to find one button and now I can perform a whole task in that time.

Becoming an Apprentice - Tara's Story

I feel that I have progressed not just in my role but as a person because I now have experienced working with other people in a much more professional environment than school and I find it easier to collaborate and work in a group which has really built up my confidence. I get the support from Smart that I need to progress with things like this and I don’t feel overpowered with too much pressure with work that I can’t complete. I would say that if you are not sure what you want to do when you’ve finished school that you should definitely consider applying for an apprenticeship because I haven’t looked back since.

I chose to follow up school as an apprentice and it was the perfect choice for me