Young Oxfordshire Apprentices have signed up to play a leading role in a new initiative to encourage others to follow them into an Apprenticeship.
Nine young people currently or recently in Apprenticeships with local businesses and organisations have agreed to devote some of their time to the role of Apprenticeship Ambassadors. They’re the first to join the latest initiative by The Oxfordshire Apprenticeships team to get their message about the benefits to the county’s businesses and would-be Apprentices.
One of the new Apprenticeship Ambassadors is 21-year-old Emily Joyce, a former Wood Green School, Witney student and now an Administrative Assistant in the Department of Physics at Oxford University. Emily, who is working towards a Level 3 Business Administration Apprenticeship, having first completed a Level 2, says: “I believe having Apprenticeship Ambassadors will bring awareness, knowledge and experience and be an inspiration to the candidates of the future. I feel very honoured to be taking part in the scheme and hope that I can encourage and help future Apprentices by informing them of my experiences and achievements as an Apprentice.”
Fellow Apprenticeship Ambassador, 21-year-old, George Hall, a former student at Sir William Ramsey School, High Wycombe, is now in his third year of a Mechanical Engineering Apprenticeship at Culham Centre for Fusion Energy near Abingdon. George says: “I feel honoured to be an Apprenticeship Ambassador and to have the opportunity to give my story about why I chose to take an Apprenticeship. I remember at school it seemed as though university was the only option, or the best option. Being an ambassador means I’ll be able go to events and talk to students and show them there are more options than just university, and hopefully help them to make the best choice for them.”
Emily, George and the other first cohort of Apprenticeship Ambassadors will have a dual role: helping to show employers the benefits to them of taking on an Apprentice, and also encouraging the next generation of Apprentices by giving talks in year group school assemblies, helping to run workshops with groups of young people, talking to students and parents at events or careers evenings, and supporting the Oxfordshire Apprenticeships town centre pop-up ‘ApprenticeSHOP’ initiative.
Sarah Cullimore, Skills Funding & Commissioning Manager, Oxfordshire County Council, says: “This is a win-win initiative that’s good for the Apprentices and their employers, and at the same time, will help us to bring on the next generation as we know that young people are best inspired by others who are experiencing first-hand the benefits of Apprenticeships. The Ambassadors themselves will develop their communication, public speaking, presentation, planning, and time management skills, and they’ll represent their employer at various events – helping to raise awareness of them as a proactive business or organisation when it comes to training and skills development.”
Oxfordshire Apprenticeships is a unique partnership project funded through the Oxfordshire City Deal that works with employers, training providers, schools, colleges, potential apprenticeship candidates of all ages, and other partners across Oxfordshire. Oxfordshire Apprenticeships aims to raise awareness and increase the uptake, quality and diversity of Apprenticeships and Traineeships to support the local economy.