This week is National Apprenticeship Week, to celebrate, we're introducing some of our apprentices...

Jack McGowan

Year 1 Maintenance Technician

"Currently within industry it is common occurrence that experience is held in as high a regard as qualification, usually there are opportunities to obtain qualifications however it often comes at the cost of another, I chose an apprenticeship as the most beneficial method for gaining a strong career as I knew I would be able to benefit from experience whilst getting paid.

"The older generation of my family are very proud knowing that I will be able to fast track my career using an apprenticeship as its cornerstone, they know that it is the most efficient way to progress my career without the financial strain, lack of experience or lack of knowledge that burdens most people.

"During my time at school, most people were supported assuming their goal was to continue on to university - apprenticeships were scarcely talked about. However, given that most graduates now struggle to obtain a job due to their lack of experience it seems the correct time for apprenticeships to be heavily represented in schools.

"Overall, I am currently enjoying my time as an apprentice within NA college as I feel I am supported from all angles during my course, I am not only being educated at a pace that is tailored to myself by my tutors but also being educated to a higher standard than my course would ordinarily produce, I truly feel like I am being set up to a higher level so that my journey ahead can be made easy.

"If you understand the gravity of a promising career then you will know that it requires a mixture of both knowledge and experience to be considered by an employer, an apprenticeship is a golden opportunity to excel in a career that you feel passionate towards."

Enrico Ross

Year 1 TPQC Apprentices

"I previously studied mechanical engineering for 1 year at Newcastle University however the teaching style didn't suit me.

"My friends and family are supportive for whatever career path I choose as long as I enjoy what I'm doing.

"Apprenticeships are very under-represented in schools. I did choose to go to university but it wasn't for me. There wasn't much information about apprenticeships as there was uni at the time of my decision.

"Overall, I am enjoying the content I'm studying at NA College and the support that is offered to me as a student.

"My advice is don't just go down the university route because that's all that is publicised at school. There are a lot more specific/tailored apprenticeships available with better career paths."

Daniel Bainbridge

Year 1 Maintenance Technician

"The main reason for me doing an apprenticeship over going to college was that it offered me a unique blend of workplace responsibilities, attitudes and environments whilst still being able to learn while I earn a wage.

"My friends and family were very happy as they understand how good of an opportunity an apprenticeship was and how much I could gain from it over the course of 5 years and even after the apprenticeship was completed.

"I think apprenticeships as a whole are under-represented in school are spoken as if it is an alternative to college, even a step below college, instead of being presented as a step into your chosen career path.

"I'm definitely enjoying completing my apprenticeship. From the very beginning, I have been progressing each and every day more than I thought prior to beginning the apprenticeship. There are always opportunities to show my skills and what I have learnt but support is also available when I find something particularly difficult.

"My advice is do it, go for an apprenticeship. Be as committed as you can as the more you put into it, the more you can get out of it."

Charlotte Workman

Year 1 Maintenance Technician

"A lot of people going to college and sixth form are fresh out of school and just want to take the easy option as they don't take education very seriously. I'm 22 and I wanted something where I could learn hands-on skills and be around like-minded people, as well as having a decent career to look forward to.

"My other friends that are doing an apprenticeship are very supported. Most of my friends wanted me to go to university, which I did, but I struggled with it as there is simply no support. After that, my family were the ones who were pushing me to get an apprenticeship.

"I definitely think apprenticeships are under-represented in school, they expected you and pushed you to go to university. I never got talked to about doing an apprenticeship.

"Apprenticeships aren't just engineered towards young people. If you want to learn and have a good drive, anyone can do it.

"You'll be surprised at how many apprenticeships are actually out there. Have a good look around to find the right one for you and make sure to ask current apprentices as they can often give some good advice about the course.

"The best bit is that the tutors at NA College give a tonne of support, I never even experienced this much support at school. Everyone here wants you to achieve as much as you can do, colleagues included, and we have a lot of fun along the way!"