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Apprenticeships – The Secret’s Out!

National Apprenticeship Week, 6-12 February 2023, brings together the entire apprenticeship community to celebrate everything that is amazing about apprenticeships. The theme for this year is ‘Skills for Life’ and in recent years, Xaverian College has been celebrating the success of many students that have progressed to sought-after Higher and Degree-Level Apprenticeships.

Lee Jackson has recently joined Xaverian as a Careers Advisor and Lee is at the front line of advising students on their future direction. He has been working as a Careers Advisor for over 20 years and has even taken his own advice and changed career briefly to leave careers advice and work in the air conditioning trade. Lee said: “In 2017 I had a career break to work as a HVAC/Commercial Gas Engineer. It was a massive challenge and I succeeded however, I missed working with people so came back to career guidance in 2019.”

Lee has worked as a Careers Advisor in education and in the community working with those aged from 12 years up to and including adults, but mainly with people aged 12-25 years. In Lee’s current role as Careers Advisor at Xaverian, he advises students on the wide range of options open to them such as university, training schemes, routes to careers and Apprenticeships.

Lee said: “Apprenticeships are an ideal option for those looking to gain qualifications from Level 2 to Level 7, but also for Xaverian students who are wishing to gain Higher and Degree-Level qualifications but for whom starting their career is the no. 1 priority. Our expert team of Careers Advisors can signpost students to many Apprenticeship opportunities being offered by employers and the excellent prospects they offer for future career development.”

Lee’s ‘Top Tips’ for gaining an Apprenticeship are as follows:

Making an Application

  • Add the closing date to your calendar and send your application in on time
  • If the application includes specific questions, make sure you read these clearly and answer them correctly
  • Double check you have provided all the information requested before you send it

Writing your CV

  • Usually CVs are no more than two sides of A4 paper
  • Tailor your CV to the vacancy and include your most relevant skills for the specific vacancy
  • Pay attention to detail and double check your punctuation and grammar 

The Interview

  • Research the company 
  • Prepare answers to some questions you know you will be asked such as “Why would you like this Apprenticeship?” and “What skills can you bring to the role?”
  • Ask them questions too, whether it is “What would a typical day look like?” or “What is your favourite part of working at the company?”

Lee continued: “Even after all these years, I get immense enjoyment in helping people. Careers guidance is about careers but more importantly it is about the skills to navigate life and the pursuit of knowing oneself. For these reasons, it is constantly changing and moving with or ahead of the times, it keeps me on my toes and it never gets boring.

“My advice to others is research all the options available to you and keep an open mind as you never know where your future carer could take you. Apprenticeships have lots to offer and they could be the route to fulfilling careers for many people who are unsure of their next steps in life.”

As one of the largest providers of post-16 education in the region, Xaverian College offers an extensive range of A Levels in addition to several BTEC courses. Visit xaverian.ac.uk to find out more.

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