The Advertiser tapped into National Apprenticeship Week and linked up with an Ilkeston firm to get an insight into the crucial role played by apprenticeships.
Reporter Nadya Ahmed visited powerfeed specialists Metreel at Cossall Industrial Estate, where the firm employs three apprentices.
Nadya spoke with successful apprentice Charlotte Brown, of Cotmanhay, and Erewash MP Jessica Lee, who has long championed the value of such posts.
Charlotte,29, is currently finishing her business and administrative NVQ provided by Positive Outcomes, an apprenticeship and work-based training provider.
She has been with Metreel for ten years, beginning her apprenticeship in the marketing and credit control side of the business. She now works in operations.
“My apprenticeship developed my confidence and I have learned things I probably wouldn’t have just in education,” she said.
“I’ve had a lot of support and motivation from my advisor and I have always been given the opportunity to progress with further educational opportunities, as I am now with my NVQ.”
Charlotte is one of only eight women employed by Metreel.
“I have a lot of contact with everything from the shop floor to customers and computers so I’ve picked up a lot of skills everywhere,” she added.
“What apprenticeships also do is allow you to apply things you will learn in maths and English because you see them in practice - not like at school.”
Jesscia Lee was impressed by the progress Charlotte has made.
“She has achieved so much for her age, she should be very proud,” said Jessica.
“What people don’t realise is that apprenticeships give the opportunity for specialisation in many things, from hands-on warehouse work to upholstery work and administrative work.
“An apprenticeship not only provides opportunity but encourages responsibility and growth.
“You can see how confident Charlotte is as a result of that, and this will definitely aid her development with the company in the future.”