Three students from Richmond School and Sixth Form College are celebrating after successfully achieving highly-sought-after apprenticeships. In spite of a sudden and unexpected end to their studies, they have shown initiative and determination in securing the first step of their careers, in Electrics, Marketing and Civil Engineering, and are being praised by their employers for their maturity and strong work ethic.
Josh Wrightham, age 16, applied for his apprenticeship with Richmond-based OS Electrical Services on 10th May and immediately impressed Ollie Scott, Managing Director and a former Richmond School student. Ollie said: “Josh stood out for a few reasons, he has a good standard of predicted grades, which he would need to be successful in completing the college side of the apprenticeship programme, and also had been involved with the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme.
“The main thing that jumped out at me was the impressive amount of work experience he already had at such a young age, through school placements and having also worked in several part-time jobs, whilst at school. This shows he is not afraid to work hard, get his hands dirty, and knows what is to be expected of an employee.”
As an apprentice electrician, and only a few weeks into his job, Josh has already learnt how to connect up double socket outlets, chasing out boxes and cable routes, and learning how to use basic hand and battery power tools. Attending one day each week at college and four days on site, his apprenticeship will take around four years to become fully qualified.
Ollie added: “Josh is doing really well so far, and is managing to exceed any expectations I had of an apprentice at his stage. He is learning quickly and always eager to help, asking the right questions and gaining some basic understanding of the day to day work of an electrician.”
Josh said: “I decided to apply for the apprenticeship, because I like doing practical work and becoming an electrician looked like a really good opportunity. So far, I have really enjoyed it and have learnt many new skills already.”
Liz Mannion, Careers Leader, said: “In Year 10, Josh did a week of work experience in the IT Department at Richmond District Council and this has boosted his CV and helped to give him the employability skills to be able to start an apprenticeship.”
Olivia Dickenson, age 17, has secured a marketing apprenticeship working in the Social Media Team at May Green Marketing, based in Newton Aycliffe. Olivia managed to apply, be interviewed and start the job during lockdown, a brilliant achievement in itself, demonstrating how highly motivated and resilient she is.
Olivia says “I am loving it! I work Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and on a Wednesday I have webinars for the learning side of my apprenticeship. Every day is so different, I do social media posts or I can be working on a blog post, doing some work for customers’ websites, or attending meetings. The job is fantastic, and I couldn’t find nicer people to work with.”
Ms Mannion, Careers Leader, commented: “I feel so proud of Olivia, she was extremely prepared with a letter and CV and had also done a mock interview. Last year, Olivia asked for an additional day of work experience to learn more about Marketing. She spent a day with the Marketing team at Catterick Racecourse on a busy race day, and this gave her additional knowledge and skills to add to her CV. All this effort has really paid off.”
Dan Luck, age 18, has gained a degree apprenticeship in Civil Engineering at JBA Consulting, based in Leeds. JBA is a dynamic and growing environmental engineering consulting company and which Dan feels is ideal for his career aspirations and said: “I want to develop a career as a Civil Engineer in a large organisation. I have always had an interest in the built environment, especially large buildings and the process that is involved from design to completion. This challenging degree apprenticeship will provide me with the skills and training to develop my career.”
Jenna Potter, Headteacher of Richmond School said “It is important to recognise the achievements that apprenticeships make. Apprenticeships promote a growth mind-set and lifelong learning, and the employers involved are committed to investing in young people.”