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Laura McDowell – Lancashire County Council

How did you find out about apprenticeships and why did you choose this route?

I found out about the apprenticeships on offer via the LCC website. I had previously done a Business Administration apprenticeship when I left school and followed this up with a HNC in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. Further education past HNC level was not funded by LCC prior to the apprenticeship levy so I wanted to take the opportunity whilst it was available. 

Tell us what being an apprentice is like, what do you enjoy and are there any aspects you wish could be improved?

Being an apprentice is no different to study as an employee, other than the fact it is funded and 20% off the job training is required. I enjoy the style of learning and study, there is plenty of support available if required. Communications between the college and students could be improved. 

What the best piece of advice you would give to someone who is thinking about becoming an apprentice?

Be willing to give up a considerable amount of time for study and assignments. Be prepared to juggle family life, social life, work and study. Some weeks might be quiet and two assignments may be due within two weeks of each other. It is hard but well worth it in the end.