Success stories

Read about what some successful BTEC apprentices have to say about their experiences. You can also and watch a video about BTEC apprentices at Unilever.

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Rekeisha started her Telecoms Apprenticeship with Openreach in July 2007 as a customer service field engineer.

“I wanted to be in a career in which I could learn a new skill, gain vocational qualification and get some work experience at the same time,” she says.

Through her secondment, she was given the opportunity to join the planning team. She explains, “No two days on my Apprenticeship are ever the same. One day I may be attending a training course, another day I could be in the office learning how to plan fibre-optic circuits for customers in London.”

Rekeisha was recognised as a highly commended apprentice in the North West London Business Awards 2008, as well as a highly commended advanced apprentice at the LSC Learner of the Year Awards.

And as for her future? “My future career plans will see me finish my foundation degree in telecoms and management and then I would like to go in to some form of management in the area of training and development.”

“I have enjoyed many aspects of my Apprenticeship including attending events and driving around to different places I would have never visited. Also, I have been able to go on secondments to different parts of the business to learning and see how they all interconnect.” 

David, 27, recently completed a team leading Apprenticeship at Superdrug.

“As part of my Apprenticeship, we attended a one-day workshop each month in the Superdrug store in Bolton where we learned about different aspects of management – we took part in group activities and had fun too.”

“The classroom learning helped because we were taught new things, given an opportunity to ask any questions throughout the day, and encouraged to do work in a more positive and productive way.”

David’s favourite aspect of his course was the “Developing People” workshop, “because it was interesting to learn how, by simply changing the words you use when training team members, you can completely change their attitude and encourage a more positive approach.”

And the most challenging part? “Managing to get all the work completed while working full-time.”

“Classroom learning as part of my Apprenticeship was different from school because we were treated as adults, and encouraged to have a good time. At school it was mainly about taking notes, whereas at these workshops we took part in activities that helped the information to sink more.” 

“Great support and encouragement when I needed it,” is how 18 year old nursery assistant Gary Pickett describes his Smart Training experience. And he credits the work of his manager and tutor in helping him complete level 2 of his Apprenticeship in Children’s Care Learning and Development ahead of schedule.

“My training manager Zoe has been magnificent and Natalie my tutor has been absolutely brilliant,” says Gary, who has now signed up for level 3. “They have been so supportive of me, are very skilled at making sure everything is covered comprehensively and are always coming back to tell me what work I have done well.”

Gary adds that he knew he always wanted to work with children in some capacity but came by the nursery job almost by chance when he was running a games club at the school, Little Caterpillars in Morden, “I would like to be a manager one day and would encourage other men to consider this as a career – after all, children need a male influence in their lives as well as female nursery workers.”

“An Apprenticeship is the perfect way to do the training as you can gain the work experience at the same time as learning. There’s obviously quite a lot to do but it’s worth it and I’ve found it brilliant – the best way to train.” 

Chris is an ambitious young man. He started out as a Trainee Chef for Beefeater with a qualification in Food and Processing but, in no time at all he moved jobs within the Whitbread Plc group to the position of Trainee Chef at the busy Premier Inn at Manchester Airport.

Still only 21 and wishing to advance within the organisation as fast as possible, he started a Hospitality Apprenticeship, with support from Whitbread. Chris excelled through his Apprenticeship to become a Chef at the Premier Inn.

Determined, Chris now has his eye on the job of Head Chef at the Premier Inn, with an ambition to achieve that goal before he turns 22!

“I wanted to prove myself and others that I am good at what I do, and to have a qualification in something which I enjoy.” 

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