The numbers of apprenticeships are increasing, with 180 different types of apprenticeships available in the public sector, education, national and local government. All apprenticeships include work based, technical and key skills qualifications.
BT Apprentice Chris Jenkins was one of ten apprentices filmed for icould.com around a year ago. The icould team caught up with Chris to find out what he’s been up to since he was filmed.
I joined BT at 16, I was a young kid – I couldn’t even drive the van! I did well in my GCSEs, all As and Bs and people were saying that I should go on to college. But I wanted to get involved, I wanted to earn money and I wanted to buy a car. I didn’t want to end up with student debt and sat in a classroom all day. Everyone thought that I’d end up with a dead end job and wondered why I wanted to work.
I’m now in the third year of my BT apprenticeship. I want to say that apprenticeships aren’t just a job where you sit around making tea for everyone. There’s lots of experience to be gained and they’re a really good thing.
In my three years I’ve done so many things. One of the most significant things has been becoming the coordinator of the BT apprentice network. Through this role I’ve been invited to dinner by the CEO of BT, I’ve held talks with new apprentices, I’ve even gone back to my old school to explain the merits of getting involved in an apprenticeship.
Recently, I’ve had the chance to visit parliament to demonstrate new technologies for people with disabilities. I talked to MPs about a new product designed to help blind people to read maps. It was an amazing experience and definitely something great that I can put on my CV!
Last year I was awarded the honour of being BT Apprentice of the Year. I’ve just done so much already through my apprenticeship. If I’d have chosen an academic route I’d still be studying now and maybe I might have a part time job in McDonalds. So for me its worked out so much better to do an apprenticeship. It’s something I would really recommend to other people thinking about what to do next!
Meet some more apprentices!