Success in the palm of the hand for award-nominated apprentices

Two nominees for a regional apprenticeship award have spoken about the advantages of training as an apprentice to encourage others to follow in their footsteps.

Eric Sanders, 22, and Jamie-Renee Cooke, 21, started on their apprenticeships with South Gloucestershire Council last year and are in the running for accolades at the 2016 Bristol Post and Bath Chronicle Apprenticeship Awards, sponsored by South Gloucestershire and Stroud College (SGS).

Both are undertaking a Level 4 leadership and management course SGS while working full time at the council’s offices.

The ‘perfect option’

Jamie, who works in investment and business support, said: “I didn’t want to go to university, because I knew it wasn’t for me, but I wanted to continue to learn, so the apprenticeship seemed to be the perfect option.

“For me, it gives me fantastic on-the-job experience alongside the qualifications which will help me to progress my career.”

Based in community events and projects and planning consultations, Eric also thrives on the scheme and thinks others should consider an apprenticeship as a fulfilling path into a good career.

“The apprenticeship is a real stepping stone. It’s a great way to earn money and learn at the same time,” he said. “I know some people can be put off by the wages, but I would say they just have to think of the bigger picture and where the qualification will lead.

“It’s also a very rewarding job. I get a lot of satisfaction working within the local community and collaborating with people in the local area.”


Two-way benefits

South Gloucestershire Council was a finalist in the large employer of the year category at the 2015 awards. George Kousouros, community enterprise officer and the apprentices’ line manager, said: “Apprenticeships are very rewarding for both the employees and the employer.

“For us it is fantastic to have two enthusiastic young people to join the teams to offer help, support and fresh ideas.

“And for them, it provides them with the perfect opportunity to gain experience and qualifications while getting paid.”

Find out more about the 2016 Bristol Post and Bath Chronicle Apprenticeship Awards here.