A foot on the career ladder
Aged just 21, Benjamin Harrison is confident and articulate beyond his years. After securing an apprenticeship at Linklaters, a leading global law firm based in The City, he has been offered a full-time job and has a bright career ahead of him.
Benjamin, who studied at St. Aloysius’ RC College and Islington Sixth Form Consortium, now manages the logistics of the firm’s corporate training. He started the position after completing a one-year apprenticeship, which he found through the Islington iWork programme that helps residents who have been out of work for six months or more. He was referred to the company by an advisor on the iWork team and started the apprenticeship in January 2015.
Benjamin explains: “At the start of the year I got offered a full-time position. My job now consists of sourcing facilitators, finalising materials and timetables, communicating with external vendors, handling and reviewing invoices from suppliers, advertising and promoting courses internally and running reports for efficiency purposes. I also design and deliver presentations and workshops.
“The best part for me is the satisfaction of seeing it all come together,” he says.
In 2012, Benjamin was elected one of Islington’s first Youth Councillors, representing the views of young people across the borough. This role gave him valuable experience of working with decision-makers to tackle big issues, like stop and search, online safety and domestic violence – skills that are easily transferred to the workplace.
“The two years that I spent working for young people in the borough gave me a wealth of invaluable experience that I have been able to learn from and carry with me,” he says. “It was an opportunity that I am very grateful for.”
Apprenticeships are a great way for young people to start their career. They get paid to do a real job, gain valuable experience and work towards a nationally recognised qualification. And Benjamin’s advice to young people hoping to get on an apprenticeship?
“Four simple, but I believe very crucial points: be proactive; be tenacious; be professional; and be authentic,” he says.
We couldn’t put it better ourselves.