As Learning Unlimited gets set to mark its 10th anniversary later this year, we speak to one of the first apprentices…
When Eddie West was looking for a way to kick start his career and wasn’t sure where to begin, he came to Learning Unlimited for advice. Through that conversation he gained an apprenticeship at Chesterfield College and has never looked back.
He says this was the break he was looking for and after completing a Business Administration Level 2 apprenticeship, went on to do a Business Administration Level 3 before then studying for a Level 2 in ICT. Eddie, who’s now 30, was then offered the chance to complete a Level 4 apprenticeship in Business Management and Administration.
“Before I was an apprentice I was looking for employment and the opportunity to kick off my career,” he said. “Being an apprentice enabled me to work with other people from different backgrounds, learn new skills, earn money and gain qualifications along the way.”
During his time as a business apprentice with the College, he got the chance to work on various projects as part of his studies. This included managing the archiving of paperwork for the College.
From the experience he gained from the project, he decided he’d like to develop his technology skills and after a six years working with the College applied for a new role within Derbyshire Constabulary. He works with the force now as Business Systems Administrator taking care of Application Services in the Information Services department.
“The skills I gained while working with Chesterfield College were invaluable and I enjoyed my time at the College. I now analyse, support and manage the force’s applications helping police officers and staff. Through my employment at Derbyshire Constabulary I have also been able to complete a Foundation ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) course which is a nationally recognised qualification in IT.”
He says his apprenticeship and his time with Chesterfield College has been responsible for shaping his career. “The experience gained at College has got me to where I am now and will continue to get me further. Being an apprentice has also enabled me to be able to connect with, pass on experiences and mentor other apprentices who started at Chesterfield College and who I now work with at Derbyshire Constabulary.”
“Being an apprentice, I felt, gave me a head start in my career as I was developing the skills of working within an organisation with other people and learning from their experiences – something that you wouldn’t necessarily gain with just studying a standalone qualification and it’s experience which other employers look for in an employee.”