Aimee Holcombe
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Apprenticeships help you ‘put the skills you learn in college into practice’

18-year-old Aimee Holcombe didn’t enjoy full-time education but after starting her apprenticeship with A&R Services Ltd through City of Bristol College, she said being about to gain work experience and an education has been ‘a great experience’.

Aimee’s initial experiences of an apprenticeship were not the most positive after starting work at a large company where the staff had never experienced having an apprentice before. However, under the guidance and support of her college assessor and her new apprenticeship placement, Aimee went from hating school to looking forward to her future career prospects.

She completed her Level 2 Business Administration apprenticeship, which is traditionally a two-year course, in a year and is now working towards her next qualification.

She explained: “I realised after a few months of being at the large company that I was unhappy and wanted to look for a new placement. I notified the college of this and they were more than happy to help me find another company. Once I was offered a placement elsewhere, I decided to take it and transfer my work over.

“My college assessor was great with this and helped me every step of the way until I was finally settled in my new placement.

“I have found the whole experience great as I have enjoyed learning my subject while putting it into practice and going to college once a week to socialise with people my own age.”

Aimee believe apprenticeships to be ‘more beneficial’ than full-time courses which allow prospective students to put their interests into practice.

She added: “By doing an apprenticeship, you are putting the skills which you are learning in college to practice on a regular basis. You are also learning how to work within a professional environment and how to get along with all different types of people.

“I have found my confidence has grown a lot since beginning my apprenticeship as I am dealing with customers regularly and feel confident in what I am speaking with them about as I have been at my company for two years now.”

Aimee said it was a ‘huge benefit’ being able to earn while learning and gaining a qualification which helped young people to ‘understand the world of finance’.

Companies Aimee interviewed for recommended she start studying at City of Bristol College and she said it was a ‘no brainer’. She added: “I went onto the College’s website and reviewed their apprenticeship course for Business Administration Level 2 and all the information I needed was there in one place. I had heard good reviews from my school friends who were there studying full-time.”

Aimee now hopes to realise her long-term goal of becoming a manager as she would love to have her own small team of dedicated people to meet targets and benefitting a business as best they can. She is slowly learning the ins and outs of how different businesses work and hopes to realise her dreams and potential.

She concluded: “Doing an apprenticeship has massively helped in my career as I have created a good professional profile and have a great network of people from within and outside of the business. I have matured a lot since beginning my apprenticeship as I have encountered some tough situations and have been out under a bit of pressure every now and then which has helped me to learn how to deal with my emotions better.

“The College has been great at checking on my mental well-being. I had some personal issues and the college started providing me with people to talk to which I found really beneficial. It is nice to know they cared so much about my mental state as well as my grades.

“I would 100% recommend doing an apprenticeship to anyone and to do it through City of Bristol College.”

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