This week is National Apprenticeship Week and a chance to celebrate the incredible opportunities that the apprenticeship scheme can and does create. At MPI we have always embraced and encouraged the modern-day apprenticeship scheme. In fact, this year we currently have 27 apprentices and trainees working both directly for MPI and with our clients sponsored by us. And shockingly I am one of those 27 at the tender age of 44!
If you had asked me last year, when I was preparing the blog for apprenticeship week (which you can read here Apprenticeship Week 2022) interviewing one of our young recruiter apprentices, who I thought I would be writing about this year, myself would have been furthest from my mind. I mean my own son is on an apprenticeship, so I have always associated them with people starting their careers not middle-aged individuals with less career ahead of them!! However, our Managing Director- Operations, Gemma Newby approached me to ask if I would like to upskill the marketing side of my job by doing an apprenticeship. At first I was confused as I didn’t realise you could do an apprenticeship at my age!! Gemma explained that she too was doing an apprenticeship and that age doesn’t matter so I thought wow yes what an amazing opportunity. It was also great to know that she would understand how it feels to do an apprenticeship in your 40’s and alongside a job that was full time before you started it. She allowed me to research for myself the level I would like to take and the provider I would like to use and after speaking to a few I just knew that VQ Solutions was the right fit for me- although I do look more like the teacher than a student on most of our online classes!
So how is it doing an apprenticeship in your 40’s?
Initially it was daunting, but it has definitely been enlightening. You do a lot of inwards looking which is something you often forget to do later in life, and it has helped me professionally and personally, although I confess I still need to work on my perfectionism as the assignments take me far too long!! Its re-assuring, reinforcing the knowledge I didn’t even realise I had! But ultimately it is a privilege. I didn’t ask for this opportunity, but it was provided to me by a company who cares about the individual futures of their staff. So many people have to fight in their company for progression and investment, but MPI thought of it for me and even though I am only three months in I feel I have benefited so much, and hopefully they have too. Imagine how great I will feel this time next year when hopefully I will have the certificate in my hand!
I have a great team to support both with the apprenticeship provider and at MPI because both truly understand the enormous benefits this scheme can provide companies and individuals. MPI, and Gemma in particular, always make sure my workload isn’t too much to stop my apprenticeship progressing and always find me support when needed, although thankfully time management was always a skill I had in my working life!
The theme for National Apprenticeship Week this year is Skills For Life and I truly feel it does that, not just marketing skills but so much more! So if you get the chance within your company, or you find yourself unemployed and fancy a change don’t be afraid to try an apprenticeship, whatever your age!!