Apprenticeships aren't just for school or college leavers. Customer accounts apprentice Victor Ndong Mikue joined Curo wanting a change in career, having already got some qualifications under his belt.
"Before becoming an apprentice, I already had qualifications, but I’d needed to change the direction of my studies. I applied for an apprenticeship because I wanted to gain work experience and get a formal qualification at the same time.
"For me, an apprenticeship was a good way to develop skills and get a formal title at the end, with the potential to be offered a permanent position too.
"Curo’s values were important to me when considering who I’d like to work for. When I applied I was treated with real respect and given all the assistance I needed. Being a large organisation, there’s a lot of support available and working here’s also helping me to develop my life skills.
"What I most enjoy about being an apprentice is the opportunity to carry out tasks that are important for the company and our customers, and to be treated as an equal member of the team. I feel that my contributions are valued and I’m accountable for my performance.
"In five years’ time I’d like to have finished studying, with a job that uses my qualifications. I’d like to be in a senior position, with expectations of progress.
"To anyone in a similar situation, I say don’t think twice about an apprenticeship. An apprenticeship increases your chances of achieving a good job, backed by qualifications and work experience. Being able to study and work at the same time is a luxury these days."
6-10 March 2017 is National Apprenticeship Week.