Let’s put the spotlight on one of our first local students who successfully landed an apprenticeship via the Sutton Hub….
Meet Dominic, the 24-year old from Cheam who has proved that it’s not too late to start an apprenticeship once you’ve passed the big two numbers (18 and 21). After a few years of trial and error, Dom has finally found the perfect place to kick-start his career and he wants to tell us all about it.
Sutton Apprenticeship Hub: Hello Dom! Congratulations on your apprenticeship. Can you tell us about where you’re working? We’re so excited to hear your story.
Dom: Thank you. I am working at a Sutton-based company called Road 2 Success, which is actually a learning provider for children who have been excluded from school and have nowhere else to go. We provide training to a Level 1 standard in either Hair+ Beauty, Plumbing, Electrics, Tiling or Decorating – as well as providing functional skills training and PSHE qualifications. It is a small company and we have four offices in Morden, Croydon, Tooting and Brighton.
Sutton Apprenticeship Hub: Awesome. So basically, you have the opportunity to support young people by getting them back into education through vocational learning. How is your course work going? A lot of young people don’t realise that an apprenticeship requires written work as well as work-based learning to gain their qualification.
Dom: Yes, I am learning all about vocational education and training, and some of the children even go on to do an apprenticeship once they reach 16 years old. My coursework is going well – I make sure I set aside a minimum of two hours per week to work on my assignments.
Sutton Apprenticeship Hub: Great stuff, sounds like you’ve settled in just fine and you’re organised too! What is your role in the company and what are your main responsibilities on a day-to-day basis?
Dom: My role is Business Administrator, which requires good organisational skills to juggle a variety of tasks. My main responsibilities include dealing with attendance, answering phone, basic accounting, dealing/creating with incident and safeguarding reports, and money handling.
Sutton Apprenticeship Hub: Wow, you certainly have a lot on your plate but you seem to have it all under control. Did you have any previous work experience before this apprenticeship, or are you just a natural?
Dom: I definitely prefer to keep busy at work – there’s nothing worse than sitting at a desk bored to death all day! Before starting this role, I was doing an engineering apprenticeship with BT for 18 months, which was brilliant experience but wasn’t quite right for me so I decided to search for something else.
Sutton Apprenticeship Hub: That’s amazing – you’ve achieved so much already. Where did you study before your job at BT? They must’ve taught you well ha ha.
Dom: I’ve had quite an interesting journey up until now and tried a few different things. I went to Whitgift in Croydon where I studied English, Art, Graphics and German A-Levels and then I attended Swansea University for two years to study Educational Studies, before I dropped out.
Sutton Apprenticeship Hub: A bit of everything then – you could be giving higher education / careers advice to students after your experience! Why did you decide to drop out of university and go for an apprenticeship instead?
Dom: I must admit, I am a big people person and I love social environments. I thought university was going to be a lot more exciting but it turned out to be pretty dull and didn’t meet my expectations. I wasn’t enjoying my course either so I decided it was time for a change. I heard about the Apprenticeship Hub on the Sutton Council’s Twitter and after I looked into a handful of vacancies, I spotted one that sounded suitable for me.
Sutton Apprenticeship Hub: The power of social media. What would you say are the benefits of doing an apprenticeship?
Dom: Being able to earn whilst learning, gain valuable knowledge, experience and an official qualification by the end of it. It is such a good opportunity for young people to step into the real world of work without facing too much pressure.
Sutton Apprenticeship Hub: I want to give to a round of applause for that inspiring mini speech you just gave – very positive words. One last important question we MUST ask you. Are you enjoying your apprenticeship?
Dom: I absolutely love it. Just as I expected, this apprenticeship enables me to interact with young people, network with parents and talk to new people every day through a range of communication forms. It is self-fulfilling to help others who are in similar circumstances to me a few years ago. I think there should be a lot more awareness of apprenticeships in schools and colleges for young people.
Dom’s Manager at Road 2 Success, Matt Masters, comments on how inviting an apprentice to join the team has been a wonderful experience:
“Employing an apprentice has given us the opportunity to train an ambitious young person without any pre-concieved ideas on what is required in the working environment. We have been able to help Dominic build an appreciation for all elements of the business and likewise, he has supported us in many ways.
“Dominic has brought new, fresh ideas to the table, as well as fulfilling his own role. His adept computing skills have already greatly benefitted the company as a whole. He has already successfully completed his NSPCC Safeguarding training and is currently working towards his Level 3 Business Administration qualification.
“Dominic has settled in incredibly well and is a valued member of the team.”
The Hub team want to thank you for sharing your success story, it’s been delightful talking to you Dom. We hope that students, whether at school, sixth form, college, or university consider their options carefully and think about their future.