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BECBC Shadow Board and National Apprenticeship Week

Did you know over 50% of the BECBC Shadow Board are either current or former apprentices? We're really lucky to have a diverse mix of young people from different backgrounds and programmes. We're passionate about Empowering the Next Generation to making decisions that are right for them, so as part of National Apprenticeship Week, some of the team have shared their apprenticeship journeys. Below you can read Jake's story, and make sure you check out Jason's blog from earlier this week to get some tips for applying for an apprenticeship! Thanks for reading.

Rhianna, BECBC Shadow Board Chair

"Fitting with the National Apprenticeship week, I wanted to share my own experience undertaking an apprenticeship and how the skills that I have learnt as part of my apprenticeship in mechanical engineering have assisted me in the development of my career. After finishing school an apprenticeship was a route into industry that had always interested me mainly due to the learning style that it offered, being a combination of classroom-based lessons and on the job learning. Through learning this way it provided me with a deeper understanding of what I was doing while completing tasks at work, as I was able to apply the theory learnt in the classroom to real world applications.
While serving my time one of the most valuable skills I was able to hone was communication. Communication is an essential skill within the workplace and at the start of my career an area I had wanted to improve upon. Through an apprenticeship exposing me to a professional environment at a relatively young age it meant that I had to push myself out of my comfort zone, by engaging with various stakeholders in a number of different ways to ensure that tasks were completed successfully.
As an apprentice I supported the community engagement that was offered by LLWR, because of this I volunteered to be involved with numerous STEM events working with students at local schools to provide advice about my own experiences within industry. One of the STEM programmes that I was involved with was the FIRST® LEGO® League, where I provided guidance to a team of students to enable them to successfully complete a STEM based project. Due to my involvement in these programmes, I was given the opportunity to develop my leadership skills as well as grow my links from outside the workplace.
Throughout my time as an apprentice, I attended class-based learning. Initially this was a requirement of my apprenticeship, but due to my own interest I was able to progress my further education to allow me to complete a HNC in conjunction to my apprenticeship. This has not only developed my own theoretical knowledge but also had a huge impact on my CV allowing me access to new opportunities.
The skills I've developed through my apprenticeship have supported my career development. Practicing my communication skills in a professional environment and gaining experience leading projects as part of STEM events has meant I am more effective when carrying out my current role. It's also allowed me to be more confident in other aspects of work such as networking events. Completing a HNC alongside my apprenticeship also opened the door to other educational opportunities and with the support provided by LLWR I have now completed a Hons degree in mechanical engineering.
Because of the positives that I have gained through being an apprentice I would highly encourage anyone at the start of their career to explore apprenticeships as they not only help to get you started within industry but also will give you skills that will support you throughout your career."

Jake Iceton, Logistics Coordinator, Nuclear Waste Services
BECBC Shadow Board Member.

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