Andrea's story on starting an apprenticeship over the age of 30

Andrea’s Story – Starting an apprenticeship at 31

In October 2021, Andrea started a Level 3 Digital Marketing Apprenticeship, not only being trained with JBC Skills Training but also working for us!

Andrea is living proof that you can start an apprenticeship at any age, here’s her story on how she got to where she is now:

I’m 31 years old, married, currently have no children and up until recently had no idea what I wanted to do with my career.

When I was at school, I was more interested in spending time with my friends and having fun, I didn’t think I’d need to decide what I wanted to be when I was an adult because that seemed so far away! I’ve always been a creative person and Art was my favourite subject, so I knew I wanted to do something with my creativity.

When I finished my GCSE’s, I still didn’t know what to do with my life, so I went to Sixth Form and chose subjects I thought would help me make my decision. I did Psychology because I knew I liked to help people, maybe I wanted to be a Therapist? I did Art & Photography so I could enjoy subjects, like I said I was a “creative art nerd”. From doing this, I realised my passion was Photography. THIS is what I wanted as a career. So I quit Sixth Form and went to college to study Photography. I loved every minute of it and decided after college I was going to University to get a degree and start on my career as a Photographer. However, when I got to University, it killed my passion for Photography. I quickly realised that doing it as a career would take away what I enjoyed most about it, the freedom to express myself and take the images I wanted to and when I wanted to. I felt like my creativity was being crushed.

So I left University, came back home, and started working full time. I had a few different jobs over the years, working in retail, a call centre, an office job, but none of them were enjoyable and not what I could imagine doing for the rest of my life. I was still asking myself the question “What do I want to be when I grow up?”

Then at the age of 29, I decided to do a part time course in Events Management. I’d just gotten married and enjoyed planning the wedding, so maybe that was what I could do as a career! So I quit my full time job to start a part time course, alongside part time employment at JBC Skills Training as a Learner Intake Executive. Originally my part time job was just a stop gap for me until I had finished my part time course and could move on to become an Events Manager. But when I started the online course, I wasn’t enjoying it. I quickly realised that I’m the type of person who enjoys getting hands on experience and learning whilst doing the job. This part time course wasn’t for me. It was just reading material and trying my hardest to make it go into my brain. There was no support, no guidance, just “here’s what you need to know, go learn it!”

So I was back to square one, I still didn’t know what I wanted to do with my career.

Working at JBC Skills Training, offering apprenticeships to people, seeing how happy they were that they were starting their career in an area they were passionate about, I loved it! But also, from talking to people about the apprenticeships we offer, I got interested in learning more about the areas. So I looked into Digital Marketing further. I started doing a free online course provided by Google Digital Garage called ‘Fundamentals of Digital Marketing’, that way I could gain an insight into the area, I’d told enough people to complete the course to gain further knowledge so I thought I best do it myself! I realised I’d found my spark. Digital Marketing is what I want to do, and an apprenticeship is the right route for me!

So I spoke with my manager, and we agreed that I could do a Digital Marketing Apprenticeship alongside my role. I would be in charge of the Digital Marketing for a business that I love working for, getting paid whilst I learn. What could be better! I started creating content for posting on social media, I started creating marketing materials. Then I started my first week of training, remote training through online sessions with other apprentices and my trainer. I was nervous, I haven’t done “learning” properly since school! But it turns out that it’s not as scary as I thought it would be. Devan & Steve, our trainers, make learning fun! They involve us in the sessions, we talk about ideas together as a group, we have fun whilst learning!

I’ve now completed my 3 modules of training and passed all of my exams. I’ve learnt more in the last 5 months than I have for years of trying on my own. Every single day I’m learning something new and gaining more experience.

JBC Skills Training have been so supportive throughout my apprenticeship, my trainer is there whenever I need additional support and guidance. There’s no judgement, no pressure, just a supportive friendly atmosphere. The fact that the training is remote is a great advantage as it means I don’t have to travel to a classroom, I can do my learning from the comfort of my own home with a blanket and a cup of tea!

As the class sizes are kept small, our trainer can dedicate more time to each of us and it feels more personal. They know each of us by name and build a bond with us, which they wouldn’t be able to do in larger class sizes.

Of course there are other training providers that offer apprenticeships, but they have so many different courses to choose from and such large numbers of apprentices, that you just feel like another number and don’t receive that dedicated support from your trainer. JBC Skills Training specialise in IT & Digital Apprenticeships, and their trainers are specialists in their field having had previous experience within the industry they teach you about!

JBC Skills Training have given me the opportunity, at the age of 31, to finally find and pursue my dream career. They’re helping me and giving me the tools to be successful in this new career. I am living proof that you can complete an apprenticeship at any age, no matter what your previous skills are, as long as you have the passion you will succeed.

It’s the best decision I’ve ever made.

For more information on how you can start your apprenticeship journey, get in touch by clicking the button below.

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