Some apprentice stories...
Brad Catelani, aged 23 from Droylsdon, started his YMCA Training Horticulture Level 2 apprenticeship at Manchester United in September 2015. Brad had originally gone to college to study for his A-Levels but dropped out at the end of the first year. After working as a cleaning supervisor for four years he decided the role wasn’t for him and decided to pursue a career change through an apprenticeship.
“I got my Level 1 (in Horticulture) from college and then I found this opportunity with Manchester United online so I just went for it.
“I’ve always wanted to do a manual job. I’m not an office person and when I was thinking about what I wanted to do it was just a case of asking what’s the best job for me, and that was something in a practical environment.
“I always wanted to do this kind of work - being outdoors - and I applied for quite a few, including jobs on golf courses, and this was the one that came up.
“Doing this as an apprenticeship is the best way because you could learn this kind of work out of a textbook but you don’t really know if you could do the job until you start it.
“If you know what you want to do then apprenticeships are the best way to go. I went to college at first but quit after the first year because you had to do four A-Level subjects and I only had one thing I wanted to do.”
When we asked Brad if he thought schools were doing enough to promote the benefits of apprenticeships, he told us:
“I don’t think schools are doing enough to prepare people for work or life because when they teach maths they should make it about mortgages, or tax or national insurance, just make it more relevant to real life.
“Even when I was at school we were only told about A-Levels - apprenticeships were never mentioned as an option. I think this is massively cheating a lot of young people. Also, for employers, I think they are beginning to value more people with practical skills. If you take someone on who has learnt in a classroom you don’t know if they can do the practical job. If you take on someone who has done an apprenticeship you know straight away that they know how to do the job because the training they’ve done has been practical and hands on - actually doing the job.”