Keely Hurst enrolled onto Northern Skills Group’s Pre-Apprenticeship Academy at Middlesbrough College in July 2020 after finishing school as she was unsure on her next steps.
Following a successful 2 week stint of job hunting and interview preparation, she secured an apprenticeship in Customer Services at Darlington Building Society.
“When I finished school I was unsure what next steps to take within education. I was torn between choosing a college course or finding an apprenticeship. As I was unsure on what sort of career I’d like to go into, I signed up to the Pre-Apprenticeship Academy as a way of building up my skills and exploring my options.
“Before starting on the course I didn’t know a lot about how an apprenticeship worked so it was really helpful. I remember feeling so nervous to start the two week course, but as soon as we started the induction those nerves just went away.
“Throughout the two weeks we would look at different job sectors, how to make a CV, applying for vacancies and practicing an interview. I found the job sectors interesting as there are so many different job roles out there for just one sector.
“The few days we spent on perfecting our CV was the really important as it’s what helped me get the job I have today, before coming to the college I had never made a CV! With the help of the staff I now have one which I feel confident about.
“We were encouraged to go out our comfort zone when applying for jobs. When looking, my tutor found a vacancy for a Customer Service Apprentice at Darlington Building Society. At the time I had no idea what a building society was but I applied anyway thanks to my tutor. A few weeks went by and I got am email confirming that I had made it to the first stage of shortlisting.
“I was then required to do a small writing task demonstrating how I met the company values, and my tutors gave me some really useful pointers. Following that, I successfully progressed to interview stage. I was still in contact with the College and they helped me every second along the way in doing further interview prep.
Now nearly a month on I am working at sunny Redcar in Darlington Building Society as a Customer Service Apprentice and am absolutely loving it.
I would definitely recommend completing the Pre-Apprenticeship Academy. If you are coming straight from school like I was, it’s two weeks out of your summer holidays. I thought it was beneficial and helped me so much. I couldn’t thank the staff more!