We can all wax lyrical about why we believe Wandsworth is a great place to work and grow through apprenticeships. What really counts is the impact it has on the individuals involved. Here we look at the testimony from Wandsworth residents whose lives have changed as a result of being given the opportunity to do an apprenticeship with a local employer. Each now have aspirations they believe in, infectious levels of confidence and a sense of purpose that gives them pride.
ESOL student & Apprentice, Wandsworth Council
“I was just sitting at home on benefits with my daughter doing basically nothing with my life for three years. I just had that thought “maybe I’m not doing enough”. I was looking for some GCSE courses with Maths or English, but they were too expensive. For me as a single mum, living for benefits. Luckily, I found Lifelong Learning and that is why I am here now.
Lifelong Learning as the name stands by it – you’re definitely learning through your whole life. I think that’s the most important thing. Having that person who is going to give you a hand and say “yeah you can do this, off you go, come on, let’s learn, let’s do it.”
They helped me to see I can do better. So I should want more. I should give more from myself.
Comparing to the cleaner that I was half a year ago and the person I am right now. An apprenticeship has created an enormous difference for me. Making me feel fuller.
I appreciate everything they have done for me. If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be the person I am now, at the place I am right now, being so proud of myself of pushing myself forward and forward.”
Trainee & Apprentice, Berkley Homes Wandsworth
Before I started my traineeship with Lifelong Learning and before I got my apprenticeship with Berkley Homes I was working weekend night shift – the rest of the week, Monday – Friday, I was either applying for apprenticeships that I’m not getting interviews for or I’m just out with friends. I wasn’t doing anything that was truly productive. It was a struggle to try and find myself once I left uni, but Lifelong truly turned that around for me.
Apprenticeships are really good. They help you learn and you earn, as opposed to just learning and losing money by going to university. So for Lifelong Learning to push me to get on, I was really grateful for them for doing that. I’m just trying to go all the way to the top.
Within the next five years I hope to be senior site manager, with clear goals and know what I am doing. For one, I want to have a comfortable living in a job I actually like doing. I’ll be getting a lot of experience and the best part is I am actually enjoying myself.
Apprentice, Wandsworth Council.
“I got offered a level two apprenticeship with the council working in the planning department. Now I am actually a validation officer; I validate people’s plans, so if they want to build an extension I make sure they have the correct drawings, they are scaled correctly and they’ve got all the correct documents that a planning officer needs. I’ve been here two years now and I’m doing my level three. I didn’t know that doing a level three was the equivalent of doing an A Level – which I’m pretty proud of as well.
It gives me security as a mother as well. I can now take my daughter on holiday, which I wasn’t able to do before. I can see that she’s got more confidence as well, because she feels that her mum has got more confidence.
It just makes me feel so proud of myself. Proud that I’ve actually achieved what I have achieved. The people I have met. The journey I have been on. Forget about the money, meeting people on a day to day basis and being able to talk to them without feeling nervous making sure they walk away happy is also a buzz as well.
I didn’t think I could get this far. But I have.”