National Apprenticeship Week: Why I chose an apprenticeship instead of university

18-year-old Amy Berrington is an apprentice at OMS. As part of National Apprenticeship Week, she explains what made her choose an apprenticeship, and why she wouldn’t change a thing.

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Amy Berrington is just one of thousands who choose apprenticeships over university, but should there be more?

Deciding what you want to do when you leave school isn’t easy. You’re still young and you haven’t figured out what it is you want to do with your life. Many of us head to college and university as the next logical step, but that definitely isn’t for everyone.

I first found out about apprenticeships at my college. I was already studying for my NVQ Level 3 National Business Diploma at the time. I quite liked the idea of working in an office environment, but I didn’t know where to start looking. The help and support I received from my college tutors really helped me to make my decision. They gave me a list of companies that were running apprenticeships, and I did some research to try and find the one that was best for me.

OMS specialises in training and consultancy in a broad range of industries. It has an on-site training facility, so there are always lots of people from all sorts of different industries around.

When I first started my apprenticeship, it was different to what I was expecting. I knew that the working world was a busy place, but I didn’t realise just how busy it would be. This took some getting used to, but I slowly got the hang of it. Now, I can confidently complete admin tasks such as distributing training certificates, manage training bookings and even help raise the profile of the company on social media.

During my apprenticeship, I realised it was fine to ask for help if I needed it. The staff at OMS were all really supportive, and always willing to give me a hand if I didn’t understand anything or wasn’t sure how to do something. Everyone makes mistakes, and that’s okay! Knowing your areas of weakness and asking for help with them will make you a better apprentice in the long run, and prepare you better for the future.

With so many courses to choose from at OMS, no one day is the same, and I’ve really enjoyed that. OMS is a great company to work for and I hope to become more involved as I continue with my apprenticeship.

I wouldn’t change a thing about my apprenticeship, and I’m glad I took this route instead of going to university. Doing an apprenticeship in an office environment has not only taught me a range of skills I didn’t have before, but it’s given me a number of transferable skills, like time management and business etiquette.

The great thing about apprenticeships is that they help you get out there and get experience in the real working world. It gives flexibility to people who want to start work straight away and helps you form a career path in a company where you can work your way up. My apprenticeship has helped me develop a professional outlook towards the future, and I’m looking forward to taking on new and exciting challenges that get thrown my way.

I don’t think people realise just how beneficial apprenticeships can be, partly because so many people choose university nowadays. University isn’t for everyone, so it’s great that apprenticeships are being made more available to young people like me. If you’re not sure what you want to do when you leave school, talk to someone about it. You don’t have anything to lose, and you may just find your future career, just like I did.


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