Why I’d highly recommend an apprenticeship – Guest Blog by Ray Rooney

Apprenticeship Photo

I’m Ray and I’m the Social Media & Communications apprentice at NE Youth, as well as a Money For Life champion.

I’ve been an apprentice here at NE Youth for nearly 2 years now, having joined the organisation in January 2017. My main jobs at NE Youth are managing our various Social Media channels, creating and publishing our weekly newsletter. I also manage the website.

My Apprenticeship Journey

Before joining NE Youth I was struggling to find work after leaving college and spent 6 months unemployed, and although I went to a number of interviews during this time I was never successful. This changed in late 2016, when I was told about the opportunity at NE Youth by one of my career advisors. I applied straight away.

My apprenticeship at NE Youth has opened me up to so many opportunities. I became a Money For Life, Generation Code, and Digi Know Champion.  I became the North East Representative for UK Youth Voice. Through Voice I was given the chance to represent them at 10 Downing Street and the Conservative Party Conference. I even spent a week on a boat in the middle of the North Sea with a group of young people on an Ocean Youth Trust Voyage.

Through NE Youth, I’ve worked with a number of fantastic charities, including the Nunsmoor Centre Trust and Smile For Life Childrens Charity, amongst others. This year Smile for Life offered me the chance to cycle 450 miles through the sweltering heat of Cambodia and Vietnam to raise money to fund their work with disabled and disadvantaged young people, and although I lost a stone and nearly passed out a solid few times, I somehow managed to complete it! I also raised over £3,500 for the charity.

I would recommend going down the apprenticeship route to anyone debating whether or not University is right for them. You may not get a degree at the end – but the skills you gain more than make up for it.

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