#NAW2017: 3 celebrity apprentices who made it big

As it’s National Apprenticeship Week, we’re celebrating all things apprenticeships! An apprenticeship is a real job with training, and a great way to fast-track your career – just take it from this celebrity trio…

Jamie Oliver MBE
Jamie Oliver’s love of cooking began with an NVQ. He was an apprentice at Antonio Carluccio’s famous Neal Street Restaurant in London before becoming a TV regular, releasing books, launching a global schools campaign, starting his own restaurant chain and even running his own training programme for apprentices. The celebrity chef’s net worth is an estimated £240 million – a tasty sum!

Baroness Karren Brady CBE
You probably know Karren Brady for her role in hit BBC One series The Apprentice, but the formidable businesswoman’s career started straight from school, when she joined the trainee scheme at advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi. Nicknamed ‘The First Lady of Football’, Karren was Managing Director of Birmingham City FC at the age of 23. Now CEO of West Ham United, she is one of the most influential, high profile and respected female business leaders in the UK. The Prime Minister made her a member of the House of Lords in 2013 – yup, she’s basically Superwoman.

Sir Alex Ferguson CBE
Sir Alex Ferguson started out as an apprentice tool-maker at the Govan shipyards in Glasgow, then went on to have a legendary career as the manager of Manchester United FC for 26 years. He’s regarded as one of the greatest and most successful football managers of all time, bringing home 38 trophies, including 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups and two UEFA Champions League titles. Not bad, huh?!

Kick-start your career with an apprenticeship.

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