Amy Kyme: My Story, Apprentice to Professional

“Through my own apprenticeship, I am now able to promote the benefits of apprenticeships to others in my role as an Apprenticeships Administrator.”

I began working for the Apprenticeship Team at Devon County Council in October 2016 as a Level 2 Business Administration Apprentice, which I completed in November 2017. I was delighted to progress onto Level 3 which I am thoroughly enjoying and has resulted in a permanent position within the HR Apprenticeship Team as an Apprenticeships Administrator.

I started my journey completing a Business Studies course at Exeter College. I had planned to go to University, however after my brother, who had also been an apprentice at Devon County Council, told me about their Apprenticeship Scheme, I decided to apply and wait to go to University until after I had completed an apprenticeship. That way I would gain valuable skills, knowledge and work experience.

Working within the Apprenticeship Team made me realise that HR was the career path I wanted to take as I enjoyed all aspects of the job role. That was when I decided to apply for a permanent position in the team and progress within DCC instead of going to university. I am so happy I was able to find the right career for me and avoid the university fees too!

I have been involved in many exciting opportunities such as volunteering and fundraising with The WESC Foundation, A Specialist Centre for Visual Impairment. I assisted with the recruitment process for the new intake of apprentices, something I felt I was able to offer first-hand experience to. I have also joined the Young Apprenticeship Ambassador Network, taking part in school talks, I was delighted to recently have the opportunity to visit my old school, to present in front of 250 students about the benefits of an apprenticeship, it was great to be able to inspire young people, just like me!

My proudest achievement was being shortlisted for PPMA (The Public Services People Managers Association) Apprentice of the Year. I had to travel up to Leeds for a two-day competition which consisted of real-life challenges that helped to enhance my skills and abilities and gave me valuable experience.

I would recommend an apprenticeship to anyone who is unsure what they want to do in the future as it is a great opportunity to continue to learn and gain valuable experience. You never know where it may take you!

I just wanted to say the biggest thank you to Vanessa, my trainer. You have made my journey so much easier, I don’t know what I would have done without you. You have been amazing and helped me to achieve my qualification. You’ve guided me through every step of the way, I really appreciate it, Vanessa, you have been my rock.

Katie Shorland, Level 2 Hairdressing

I always struggled in school as I wasn’t very academic, so knew learning on the job would be a better option for me. I would find it difficult to get up for 9am but now I wake up and look forward to my day. I wanted to try a hair apprenticeship as I’ve always been interested in hairdressing, and by the end of the first week, I already loved it!

Jaimee Benson, Level 2 Hairdressing

I have developed a range of new skills through work including the technical, industry skills required for the job, to personal development such as ensuring I am always on time. The biggest change since leaving school is adjusting to the independence you gain from earning a salary. My advice to anyone thinking of doing an apprenticeship would be find what you like doing, and go for it!

Will Birch, Level 2 Bricklaying

Since starting the apprenticeship, I’ve become far more confident. In a classroom, you only interact with your classmates, but through working you develop your people skills as you interact with customers on a daily basis. At school, you are closely monitored and parented, however I am now more independent and feel grown up

Sam Collard, Level 2 Light Vehicle and Maintenance Repair

The most important thing I’ve learnt since leaving school is that there are other routes to success than just academia. I failed my GCSEs, as I never suited the school environment. Now though, I’m really enjoying my apprenticeship as I’ve discovered I learn more through hands-on practice.

Ben Freeman, Level 2 Carpentry

I would just like to thank you and your team for all the amazing work they do, you have provided me with the most invaluable experience which has helped to pave the way of my future. The work you do for young people is incredible!

Luke Kowalski, Teaching Assistant and former apprentice at Sir Robert Gefferys School