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Apprenticeships on the rise - Case Study - Vicky Johnson

Vicky Johnson, 20, from Mitcham, south London, started her apprenticeship in Service and Repair Engineering at British Gas’ Training Academy in Dartford last October.

Whilst at school, Vicky didn’t receive any career advice on apprenticeships. With 14 GCSE’s under her belt, she decided to take the academic route and study A-levels thinking university would be next.

She explained: “I did a year of A-levels but I just didn’t enjoy it. I didn’t like being in the classroom all day.

“From when I was little, I have always liked to be hands-on with things. I used to help my dad with DIY round the house all the time, so I looked into college courses.

“I eventually studied a BTEC level 2 in plumbing and really enjoyed it but it didn’t really lead to a job. I wasn’t sure what to do next. “My family have always encouraged me in whatever I do. It was my mum who actually found the apprenticeship with British Gas and suggested that I apply.

“I applied because I loved working with my hands and, so far, it’s been the best experience. From learning in the classroom to applying that knowledge in the workshops, I feel like I’m always learning something new.

“I’ve learnt so much from the learning and development managers and it’s inspired me to want to qualify, learn the trade properly and hopefully teach in the future.

“Being a female apprentice is great because people want to see more women going into engineering and similar trades.

“It’s not a job that requires a lot of physical work so women can do the job just as well as any man.

“Lots of customers seem surprised to see me when I turn up on their door but glad to see a female apprentice working too, especially older customers.

“I’d encourage anyone getting their results to see apprenticeships as good a route as any for a job or career path. I felt confused but now I know that I’m working for a reputable company, earning whilst I’m learning and have a good career ahead of me.”

On completing the first part of her five year apprenticeship early next year, Vicky will qualify with a QCF Level 3 Diploma in Gas Utilisation.

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