Apprentice inspires teenagers during special weekPosted: 11th February 2021
A pharmaceutical apprentice is inspiring other teenagers to follow her career path.
As part of National Apprenticeship Week, Abbie Williams has shared details of her educational journey and work with pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline.
The former Burnt Mill Academy student spoke to peers at BMAT STEM Academy during the week devoted to apprenticeships.
She told them: “I knew I was interested in biology and chemistry and knew I wanted to go down that route, but didn’t know what I wanted to study at university, so I found it difficult to find a course I would enjoy. I looked at apprenticeships and applied to GlaxoSmithKline as their work sounded exciting.
“I thought the apprenticeship route would start my career early, give me a secure job and get that industry experience from the start, whereas with university I would study for three years and then get the experience. It’s a great way to get experience while learning.
“The way I am allowed to grow and develop is great and I am made to feel really valued as a part of the company.”
Apprenticeships are open to students after their GCSEs or A-level/BTEC courses and allow students to earn while learning, working four days per week for a company and having a day release to complete their studies.
Throughout the week, students also joined a live online chat with UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) on CV writing and interview skills, joined a live online debate about apprenticeships versus university and joined a virtual meeting with ASK Apprenticeships to find out about different types of apprenticeships and how to apply for them.
Dave Ramsey, assistant headteacher at BMAT STEM, said: “Abbie was able to give students an insight they would not get from universities or employers. She told them about apprenticeships from a student’s perspective. It was really helpful for our students to hear from someone they can relate to as she went to Burnt Mill and is from their community.
“Apprenticeships are increasingly popular with students and companies and we are keen to ensure our students investigate this route alongside other options when deciding on their next steps. By introducing students to apprenticeships, we are helping to fill the skills gap and identify opportunities open to them.
“This week has given students an understanding of why an apprenticeship might be suitable for them. We are showing students there are lots of different options and routes available to them after their exams and telling them they need to consider them all.
“Students have learnt skills during this week that will be important for their future, whatever they decide to do. They need interview techniques and a strong CV to get to wherever they want to in life.
“Anything we can do to help to prepare our students to get into the world of work and have the best chance, we will do.”
GlaxoSmithKline is one of a host of industry sponsors of the school – which caters for students in Year 10 and up interested in STEM subjects - including Princess Alexandra Hospital, Gratnells, Raytheon, Pearson Education and Morgan Sindall.