All posts by Lynzi Pond

Apprentices build on construction skills thanks to local projects!

building-partnerships-largeThe UK construction industry is seeing a surge of development, with a high demand for more housing being the key focus for many city and district councils. One such council, which has recently begun work on building and regenerating its area, is Bolsover District Council in Derbyshire who have employed apprentices (through Vision Apprentices) to help with their current project.

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Apprenticeship helps Katie to find the right career path

Katie Hallett, Vision Apprentice

As part of National Apprenticeship Week 2017, we’re catching up with some of our apprentices as they gain new skills on-the-job!

Katie Hallett is studying an apprenticeship with Vision Apprentices. Her role involves working within the work placement team at Vision West Nottinghamshire College, which has helped build both her confidence, and skillset too.

“I chose an apprenticeship as I was unsure of what I wanted to do as a long-term career choice, and an apprenticeship gave me the opportunity to learn what it is like to work in different kind of job roles while gaining knowledge and experience.

“I definitely felt like I’d make the right choice in choosing an apprenticeship. I’m constantly gaining experience and learning new skills which will definitely help me in other jobs that I apply for in the future.”

“I thought the application process was good. I was able to take part in activities before the interview which helped to build my confidence.

“Since starting my apprenticeship I’ve become so much more confident in everything that I do – at first I was nervous to speak to students, but now I have no problem with it at all. I’ve learnt how to prioritise my tasks and time correctly and efficiently and how to be organised.

“I’ve also become efficient in communicating via email, as I’d never really needed to do this before my job role, and I’ve also learnt how to work with spreadsheets in detail.

“I currently work in the work placement team at college Monday-Friday, and I also work on the reception of the careers and employability team office on a Friday.


“My job involves collecting pre-placement forms from students, date stamping them, scanning them and saving them online. I then check to see if the company they want to complete a work placement with is health and safety vetted. I input information from the form into excel, and send a confirmation email to both the student and employer.

“My role also involves gaining feedback from the student and employer during the placement and once it has finished, and this involves emailing and ringing round, and chasing any missing details.

“I attend three ‘clinics’ a week at all of the different campuses. Each clinic lasts one hour, and during this time I am available for students to talk to about any of their concerns, or to help them to find a placement and support them where necessary.

“When I work on reception I am responsible for any customers who ring or call in to the office, and to book any appointments for those who request one.

“I enjoy being involved with the students and helping them, as I feel I’ve really achieved something when I do.

“My job involves meeting people who work across all departments in the college, which is helping me get plenty of ideas for the types of careers available to me. I’m still very undecided about what I want to do, but I hope to stay on another year and complete my Level 3 apprenticeship.”

“Training within a working environment has been a really helpful learning experience. It’s a much better way of learning how to do a job, rather than just reading about it in a textbook. The college is also full of experienced people who are there to help you whenever you need it.

“I think the benefits of doing an apprenticeship include gaining knowledge and experience within a job role, and the fact you get paid! I feel I am much more knowledgeable and confident than I was when I started.

“I think it is a great way of getting into an industry. If you know what you want to do with your future it is a great way of learning more about it and gaining the experience that you may need to have the job as a long-term career. It is also a great way of learning and experiencing different types of jobs to give you a better idea of what it is actually like to work in that type of job role.”

Interested in an apprenticeship? Visit to see the latest vacancies, or call 0800 121 8317 for more. 


balloonsNational Apprenticeships Week is having a bit of a birthday, celebrating ten years of shouting about the positives of apprenticeships for both employers and, well, everyone!

Anyone over the age of 16 and living in the UK can start an apprenticeship. You can gain qualifications recognised in industry, vital work experience with a valued employer, and best of all get paid each week (with no student loans or debts to fork out for!).

It’s no wonder they’ve been shouting about something so good, for so long. And apprenticeships are only set to get better, as a group of 80 ‘trailblazer’ employers are currently working to set new apprenticeship standards, to ensure the skills you learn are tailored to your specific job role.

As part of National Apprenticeship Week, Vision Apprentices will be out and about to speak to members of the public interested in all things apprenticeships – keep an eye on our Twitter page to see where we are during the week.

There’ll also be an exclusive Apprenticeships Information Evening held at Vision West Nottinghamshire College, Mansfield (NG18 5BH), on Wednesday 15 March 5.30pm-7.30pm where you’ll be able to speak to advisors from Vision Apprentices, find out more about apprenticeships and apply for vacancies on the night.

Mansfield too far to travel? Our advisors are available to call Mon-Fri 9am-5pm on 0800 121 8317, and are ready to answer any questions you have about apprenticeships. You can also apply directly for apprenticeships on our website – just search by location for your nearest vacancy.

Keep an eye out on our Facebook page (as well as Twitter) throughout National Apprenticeship Week as we’ll be sharing some great quotes from apprentices and employers, shouting out about the benefits of apprenticeships!

Missed the UCAS deadline…how about an apprenticeship?

degree-gradIt’s that time of year again, the dreaded UCAS deadline has been and gone quicker than a flash, perhaps before you’ve even decided what you want to do with your life.

So where does that leave you in terms or university and your next steps for 2017?

If you’re now looking for a Plan B – may we suggest an apprenticeship – there are so many great reasons to start one!

An apprenticeship is essentially a job with training. As an apprentice, you’ll become an employee, gain work experience and train towards qualifications necessary for your field of work. You’ll also get paid (including paid holidays!), and, unlike going to university, you’ll have NO STUDENT DEBTS TO WORRY ABOUT!

If you do want to go back to study – you might need to wait until courses begin again in September. Apprenticeship vacancies spring up all through the year, so you could be starting your dream job as early as next month.

We’ve made the application process for apprenticeships really easy, and new jobs are coming up all the time (keep checking the Vision Apprentices vacancies page for more).

Did we mention that apprenticeships are available in over 1500 job roles across a range of industries? This gives you plenty of opportunities to get on the road towards your dream career.

Did you also know some apprenticeships can be studied up to university-level? Not only can you study at the same level as your friends at university, but you’ll be earning money, have no debts AND already have your foot in the door in the world of work!

Sound good? Higher Apprenticeships are the equivalent to a university-level qualification (including a HNC, HND, foundation degree or even the equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree). There are currently 40 subjects available as Higher apprenticeships, which cover many many job roles! You can find more information about Higher Apprenticeships at

At Vision Apprenticeships, we’ve got Higher Apprenticeships in our sights and look forward to bringing them to you, but until then – why not check out our current vacancies at or ask us a question by calling 0800 121 8317 – we’re always ready to help!

New Year, New You, New qualification with an apprenticeship!

decisions, decisionsWith the New Year still ringing loudly, for many it’s the time when they begin to think about the year ahead, making resolutions to change an aspect of their lives. These usually range from getting fitter, to taking up new hobbies – or one of the big ones – a career change.

With a good proportion of the population all job-seeking in January (52% of young people according to job listing website Indeed), it may be difficult to find that new role that you’re looking for. A new job would also mean leaving all you know and taking a big leap into the unknown, which is quite a scary thought (and perhaps not one to rush). But what if there was a way in which you could stay at your place of work, and upskill to increase your chances of promotion?

Perhaps it’s time to speak to your current employer to let them know that employees, like you, can become apprentices!

Apprenticeships are essentially a job with training. They’re available in over 170 industries, and as an apprentice you undertake a specific job role, but you also gain qualifications which are nationally-recognised, and can boost your knowledge of that specific job.

The government is keen to get more apprenticeships into the workplace. Your boss may like to hear that they may be entitled to grants and funding to support you as an apprentice (dependent on T&Cs). It could also be beneficial to them to keep you on board rather than hire someone new, as you’ll already know the ins and outs of your job and have an established place within your team.

Learning new things will help to breathe new life into your job role, and will be a great boost to that CV, too.

Of course, this option isn’t available to everyone (and it’s at the discretion of your employer), so if you’re still set on a complete new job change, apprenticeships are still very much an option, as they can project you quickly into a completely different industry, and allow you to gain qualifications and experience.

If you’re interested in an apprenticeship, you can browse Vision Apprentices vacancies here, or give us a call on 0800 121 8317 to speak to an advisor who can help provide information to your employer. Who knows, by February you could be starting something new while proving that not all resolutions are for breaking!

Looking for your next job? Beat the Christmas rush and apply for an apprenticeship

santas-workingAs the holidays draw ever closer, many shops and businesses will be advertising for temporary positions, to help with the demands of Christmas shoppers and those hoping to bag a bargain.

From Christmas elves to pickers and packers, many places will need a quick turnaround of staff to help with a variety of tasks that require minimal training for an immediate start.

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Apprenticeships offer a real route in to engineering

engineering-apprenticeshipsAs  tomorrow’s engineer’s week  – which aims to shine a spotlight on engineers and the industry – comes to a close, we take a look at apprenticeships as a route in.

The engineering industry has long been an advocate of apprenticeships as they allow for training on-the-job, something which sits well in such a hands-on industry.

Engineering spans a wide range of vocations which means the opportunities in this sector are vast and varied. You could choose to go into mechanical engineering, civil engineering, electrical, aeronautical and more.

Potential engineering apprentices will need certain attributes in order to succeed. An ability to adapt to change is important, as engineers pave the way with new practices and techniques. A good grasp of English and maths is also essential, as well as the ability to work both alone or within a team.

The demand for engineering apprentices is ever-growing, with the hope that they will plug skills gaps and become the next generation of engineers, and the demand is not just in the UK. Engineering jobs can potentially take you all over the world.

Engineering apprenticeships can be done at all three levels; intermediate, advanced and higher. Higher apprenticeships are equivalent to university-level study, which means you’ll be at the top of your game, and desirable to employers looking for highly-skilled workers.

As an engineering apprentice you’ll train on-the-job to learn the specialist skills required for your role. You may also be able to take advantage of Vision West Nottinghamshire College’s Engineering Innovation Centre, to train using the latest engineering equipment.

Vision Apprentices has recruited a number of engineering apprentices across the UK, helping to fill the skills gaps and move the industry forward.

Tim Novell is general manager of New-Houghton based engineering firm Dale (Mansfield) Ltd – whose product lines include making hydraulic cylinders, military handling equipment and machines for off-shore oil and construction industries, and is a real advocate for apprenticeships in industry.

Tim said: “As we began to supply for alternative industries and other countries, the need to employ apprentices made sense. We had an average age of 60 amongst workers on the production floor and knew we needed to fill the widening age-gap.

“We’ve worked very productively with Vision West Nottinghamshire College – more recently through Vision Apprentices – and have two new apprentices join us each year. Lots of our staff now are those original apprentices who have progressed.”

And it’s not just engineering apprentices who can get ahead in engineering. We’ve also recruited apprentices in business and admin; helping to keep operations running smoothly.

Keep an eye on the Vision Apprentices vacancies page for engineering apprenticeship opportunities. If you’re interested in finding out more, you can also speak to our team on 0800 121 8317.

An A-Z of apprenticeships! #part2

jessica-johnsonThis week we’re finishing our A-Z of apprenticeships which includes everything you need to know. If you missed the first part of our two-parter you’ll find it here.

No debts…
Did we mention that apprenticeships are funded by the employer – AND you get paid too? Meaning no debts for you. We did? We just can’t help but shout about it.

As an apprentice – you aren’t just the  “tea maker”. Apprentices will have real responsibilities and get plenty of opportunities to learn more about their chosen industry.

Your new favourite day. Apprentices can potentially earn up to £300 per week meaning you’ll be able to afford those new trainers, driving lessons, night out, etc.

An apprenticeship isn’t just about learning skills in the workplace. You’ll also work towards industry-standard qualifications!

As an apprentice you’ll be working in a real role alongside real members of staff. You’ll need to be professional and responsible to get the job done and show employers you mean business.

Apprenticeships will boost your skills – from technical skills relevant to your apprenticeship, to communication and teamwork skills which transfer to any profession.

Technical certificate
One of the many qualifications you’ll work towards as part of your apprenticeship.

Some apprenticeships are offered up to university-level which means you’ll be getting the same level of qualifications as your friends at uni (who will be paying for the privilege)!).

Apprenticeship vacancies come along all the time – so you can start a potential apprenticeship all year round. Keep checking back on our website to see if any new ones have appeared in your area.

Work experience
Apprenticeships provide you with vital work experience, and in turn, employability skills which look great on your CV and UCAS applications should you choose to go into Higher Education following your apprenticeship.

Yes, ok – we cheated with this one, but apprenticeships are exciting and can get you on the path towards a new and diverse career.

Young people?
Many believe apprenticeships are “just for young people”. We’re here to dispel the myths. Apprenticeships are available to anyone over the age of 16, and living in the UK. So if you’re looking for a career change – an apprenticeship could be for you.

Zoo keeper
Apprenticeships come in all shapes and sizes – and there are over 200 apprenticeship frameworks available – so you could become anything from an admin assistant to a zoo keeper!

Interested in apprenticeships? Visit our website for updated live vacancies, or call one of our team on 0800 121 8317.

An A-Z of apprenticeships! #part1

daniel-leaverIf you still don’t know about apprenticeships, where have you been? Apprenticeships have grown in popularity over the last few years, and are seen as a great alternative to university or an exciting first step into the working world.

We’ve compiled an A-Z of apprenticeships to give you an idea of what to expect. This week, we focus on A-M. 

Alternative to university
If you learn better in practical situations, want to earn money and have no debts – an apprenticeship could be for you.

There are so many benefits to apprenticeships, you earn a weekly wage, gain industry-standard qualifications, get work experience, meet people who are passionate about the industry you wish to work in, learn up to university-level and much more.

An apprenticeship could be the start of an amazing career – so make sure you choose to do it in something you love.

Debt – or lack of!
As we all know, university debts can soon stack up – with an apprenticeship, your training costs are paid by the employee, so you’re actually earning money rather than racking up debts.

As an apprentice you’ll be an employee of the company you’re doing an apprenticeship with. This means you get the same benefits as other employees of the company.

As an apprentice you’ll be working in a new environment, with new people – a great opportunity to make new friends.

The moment you apply for an apprenticeship, we will guide you through the whole process to ensure you’re looked after, on the right path and successfully finish your apprenticeship.

As an apprentice you’ll be entitled to at least 20 paid holidays per year, plus bank holidays.

An apprenticeship will help you develop new skills, and you’ll gain a whole new level of independence in the working world, than if you were to stay on a traditional learning route.

As an apprentice – you’ll have a real job, with real prospects for promotion. Did you know that upon finishing an apprenticeship, many of our apprentices stay in employment with the company they took up their apprenticeship with?

Once thought of as a “plan B”, apprenticeships have now gained enough kudos to stand tall against university study. With growing support from the government, schools and employers alike, apprenticeships proudly sit alongside other established career paths.

Live vacancies
We’re always adding live vacancies to our website. We recruit for apprentices throughout the UK – so a vacancy could crop up near you soon – check for more.

As an apprentice you’ll earn a weekly wage which can be as much as £300! The National Minimum Wage for apprentices is currently £3.30 per hour, but many employers choose to offer more.

Come back next week for the rest of our A-Z of apprenticeships! If you feel you’d like to start an apprenticeship, why not browse our live vacancies? Got a question about apprenticeships? Give our team a call on 0800 121 8317.