Famous faces feature in apprentice hall of fame

To celebrate the success that apprenticeships can bring, Learning Unlimited is creating an Apprenticeship Hall of Fame and picking out its star pupils who have gone on to do great things.

Celebrities, business leaders and figures at the top of their profession are amongst those showcasing the accomplishments of some of the country’s most successful and well known former apprentices.

Apprenticeships are growing in popularity each year with more and more young learners opting for a mixture of work and education as their preferred stepping stone into their chosen career, and it’s easy to see the appeal with so many famous faces having taken the same route.

Jamie Oliver

Long before we came to know the Naked Chef, talented cook Oliver began his rise to the top by accepting a place as a catering apprentice at Westminster Kingsway College. Fast forward a few years and the ‘healthy school dinners’ advocate, now runs his own apprentice scheme helping disadvantaged teens get cookery training. And fellow chef Gordon Ramsay also chose this path!

Sir Alex Ferguson

Despite being destined for big things, Sir Alex, who became the most successful manager in British football history at Manchester United, was also an apprenticeship graduate back in 1950s Scotland. The aspiring young striker spent nearly five years juggling his time between his footballing dream and a toolmaker apprenticeship at a typewriter factory in his hometown of Glasgow.

Alexander McQueen 

Late and great clothes designer to the stars McQueen is proof that not making the grade at school isn’t the end of the road when pursuing your career ambitions. McQueen, who left school with just a single ‘O’ Level, went on to complete an apprenticeship as a tailor for Savile Row, before wooing the fashion world and being named British Designer of the Year on four separate occasions.

Ross Brawn

The high-octane engineer started life in the fast lane with a mechanical craft apprenticeship, before bypassing a number of pit-stops on the promotions ladder and racing into Formula One. Brawn helped mastermind constructors titles for both Benetton and Ferrari, before taking control of his own team, Brawn GP, and leading them to clinch the 2009 title.

Paul Champion, Learning Unlimited’s Operations Director, added: “Apprenticeships are becoming a key option for many young people, and it’s easy to see the appeal when such talented individuals started out as apprentices. These high achieving public figures are great role models, and it proves you don’t always have to go down the traditional higher education route to be a success. Whether you want to become a hairdresser like Nicky Clarke or a designer like Alexander McQueen there is an apprenticeship out there for you because we have 2,000 courses covering 40 industries.”