Apprenticeships are creating real change for Islington residents

  • 24
  • Sep

What have nursing, digital marketing, software development, solicitors and environmental conservation got in common?

They all offer apprenticeships.

Apprenticeships have evolved a lot and now offer a debt-free route into so many different types of jobs. They are also available at many levels – from GCSE to Master’s Degree – so anyone can access the fantastic opportunities.  They becoming a great alternative to university for many young people.

Usama was studying a level 3 BTEC in engineering at City and Islington College when he was introduced by his brother to Abdi, one of the council’s iWork employment support coaches.

Abdi met Usama to help him understand his options for progression after college – particularly apprenticeships relevant to the experience Usama was gaining at college.

The council had secured a fantastic Level 4, higher apprenticeship opportunity for a local resident with one of the contractors working on the regenration of the Andover Estate.  Abdi knew this would be a perfect role for Usama because he lives a stone’s throw from the regeneration project and the apprenticeship would include working towards a civil engineering degree while gaining valuable work experience.

Usama’s mum took some convincing that this was the best option for him.

“My mum believed going to university was a more respectable route for me,” he said. “I was lucky that Abdi from the council’s iWork employment support team managed to convince her that I can still earn a degree through an apprenticeship, or I would have missed out.”

Abdi said: “Usama has so much potential that I couldn’t see him lose out. Higher level apprenticeships can be equivalent to a university degree, but at the same time the young person earns a wage and avoids the costs of going to university. It’s a no brainer really.”

As an apprentice you will:

* work alongside experienced staff

* gain job-specific skills

* earn a wage and get holiday pay

* get time for study related to your role (usually one day a week)

Apprenticeships take one to five years to complete depending on their level.

You can apply for an apprenticeship while you are still at school. To start one, you will need to be:

* 16 or over by the end of the summer holidays

* living in England

* not in full-time education

If you want support to find a great apprenticeship opportunity, contact iWork on or call 0207 527 2706.