Aaron Gumbrell is a fine example of how apprenticeships can be life-changing.
Aaron 27, from Pulborough, was put off the idea of university due to the cost. Instead, he decided to pursue an apprenticeship.
He started with a level two apprenticeship in business administration at West Sussex County Council and graduated last year with his level five qualification in human resource management.
There is no stopping him, as he is now in his second year at Portsmouth University undertaking level seven in human resource management.
He said: “I wanted to start a career with room for progression. One of the main things, for me, is the level of support you get from your colleagues, everybody is happy to help and pass on their experience.
“It’s also great to learn at college and then have an instant opportunity to put that into practice at work.”
Zoe Prior left school wanting to work in animal care but soon found out it was a difficult sector to get in to.
Instead, she started a job in Sainsbury’s café and stayed there for three years. She did not feel she was being productive in her role and she wanted a career.
Then the opportunity of childcare came up and Zoe knew this could be a pathway to a long-term career. Although nervous, as she was unqualified, she was thrilled to start her apprenticeship with Hawk Training.
Zoe said passing her level three has made her feel so much more confident in her role and part of the team at Co-operative Childcare in Chichester.
A total of 62 young people who attended last year’s inaugural West Sussex Apprenticeships Graduation at Chichester Cathedral and were awarded a ceremonial pin and certificate.
Aaron said: “I found the ceremony inspirational and a great occasion to mark what I had achieved in my career to date.
This year’s graduation takes place on Tuesday and there will be a full report with pictures online, as well as in the March 16 editions of the Observer.
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