National Apprenticeship Week: Chelsea’s Story


Apprenticeships still offer exceptional value for money, with some degree and master level apprenticeships costing a fraction of other higher level training options. For employers thinking of hiring an apprentice, remember that 95% of training costs are paid for by the government, with just 5% from the employer. In some cases 100% funding is available. As we #BuildTheFuture this year, Chelsea describes her experiences for National Apprenticeship Week 2021.

Who or what inspired you to become an apprentice?

I left school in 2019 with the intentions of doing my A levels and eventually becoming a midwife. However, I soon discovered that a job role with large amounts of blood was not for me! A lot of my friends had started apprenticeships from school and had good experiences in their job roles and, therefore, I decided to apply for my apprenticeship at Skills Group.

What was the biggest factor in making you decide to do an apprenticeship?

Not knowing where to start with my career was something that I was struggling with. Trying to find a part time job was becoming impossible with the experience and qualifications that was required of me, especially, whilst we were going through a global pandemic. Starting my apprenticeship helped me gain confidence and has given me a view of where I want to be in life. Gaining qualifications as well as earning money and experience has opened so many more opportunities for me.

Describe a typical day.

A typical day in the office consists of me coming in at 8:30 AM and checking my emails and clearing my diary, this may include making jewellers calls. I will then move onto our TH March inbox and begin to action different email enquiries. There are always new queries/valuations within the inbox and so there is always new training that is provided for us. I have my lunch at 12:30, then return to the inbox/training.

Has the pandemic and lockdown changed your experience?

Since I began my apprenticeship during the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m not sure how my experience may have changed. However, since a lot of TH March are working from home, I haven’t had the opportunity of meeting everyone and getting to know my work colleagues. Although I haven’t been able to do this, I have been welcomed and have been made to feel very supported. I am looking forward to meeting everyone in person rather than virtually.

What do you enjoy most about your role, and why?

I enjoy dealing with valuations and seeing all the beautiful jewellery that we insure. I also enjoy sorting files and seeing all the customers that have been insured by us for such a long time.

What advice would you give to other people considering an apprenticeship as a route?

If you don’t know where to start your career, or need to gain experience, then I would highly recommend an apprenticeship. An apprenticeship isn’t permanent, however it’s a good amount of time to get a good representation of how you feel in the job role you have taken on. In this time not only are you gaining experience, earning money and qualification, but you get a good feel of what your workplace has to