Scottish Apprenticeship Week: An Interview with a Graduate Apprentice

As you may have seen, this week is Scottish Apprenticeship Week #ScotAppWeek20, led by Skills Development Scotland. This campaign aims to highlight the fact that there’s no limit to where an apprenticeship can take you; it creates talent without limits!

Today I sat down with Paul, a Graduate Apprentice student in Business Management, to ask him a couple of questions.

What led you to a Graduate Apprenticeship?
After school my plan was always to go to university, but I ended up in a job. At the time the money was quite attractive, so I just progressed myself through my career. Later in life it’s been a regret of mine that I never went to university, because I always wanted to go while I was at school. So When this opportunity came up I thought it would be great to apply, and so I get to do something I always wanted to do when I was younger.

Why did you choose a Graduate Apprenticeship?
I thought it was a great opportunity, as it’s good for me to develop my skills even further. I get the knowledge in university, and then I can apply the learning into my workplace and it helps me with my future career progression.

Why did you choose Business Management specifically?
It was something I have always done; I’ve worked in retail since I left school. I’ve been a Manager since I was 19 in different organisations so it’s always something I’ve been interested in.

Is it hard to juggle work and classroom learning?
It’s very challenging. We come here one day a week and do all the lectures and seminars in one day, so it’s full on from around 9am-6pm. We then have our work on top of that, which is four days a week. On the back of that you then have to use your own time to do extra studying. The biggest challenge is being able to manage your time; balancing work, university work, and your home life.

Do you know what you want to do when you’ve finished your apprenticeship?
Retail is changing massively, so for me, it’s about getting a broader experience in other areas of business management, whether that be HR or e-commerce. This then gives me a bit of an idea of jobs outside retail.

How has doing a Graduate Apprenticeship helped you achieve your goals?
You are able to apply what you have learnt into the workplace. It’s made me a more confident person. It’s a great experience and opportunity, but it is challenging.

What are the positives of doing a Graduate Apprenticeship?
Being able to learn while you get paid. My work paid me to come here, so I get a salary while I’m at university. You also get to learn a lot more, and I feel that what I’ve learnt so far can apply to the workplace. You get great support from your workplace and the university as well.

Would you recommend a Graduate Apprenticeship?
I would recommend it, and I would recommend it to anyone who feels that they want to do something like this. In my course there’s a wide range of different age groups, so it’s a great opportunity for anyone who wants to develop their skills and learn more.

I would like to extend a huge thank you to Paul for taking the time out of his busy day to talk to me and discuss the Graduate Apprenticeship programme. I wish him all the best in his future endeavours.

If you would like to find out more about Scottish Apprenticeship Week, please take a look at #ScotAppWeek20 on Twitter. If you’d like to find out more about Graduate Apprenticeships, check out the link below:

https://www.apprenticeships.scot/become-an-apprentice/graduate-apprenticeships

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