Georgia Cresswell is employed by a global biologics research and development company, and is working towards a BSc (Hons) Applied Bioscience for Laboratory Scientists from the University of Kent.
‘For me, the best thing about studying a degree apprenticeship is the fact that I am constantly learning so many different things. Whether this is an element of my course, a new skill in the lab, a new software, a new project or a new piece of equipment. There is always something new to learn and an abundance of experts around me to help me and explain things on a level that I can understand.
‘Going from sixth form straight into a high pressure and fast-paced place of work has been a challenge. It definitely took some adjusting and was probably harder than I expected at the start. Luckily my team and my supervisor have been so supportive and accommodating, it has made the transition much easier for me.’
Debbie Ashcroft is employed by a large construction company, and is working towards a BA (Hons) Professional Practice in Construction Site Management from Middlesex University.
‘Working within the construction industry whilst doing this degree has helped enormously. It is not just about figures on paper, like you would have in a classroom. You look at jobs you have been involved in, so you receive a better understanding of the whole scope of your work.
‘Having just started in the management side of construction, I feel this degree is teaching me things that I had not yet discovered in the job. It is encouraging me to seek information from other departments within the industry, which gives me better understanding when managing contracts.’
Joss Field is employed by a global biologics research and development company, and is working towards a BSc in Applied Bioscience from the University of Kent.
‘I wasn’t aware of degree apprenticeships at all until a family member suggested checking the gov.uk website. I saw that I would be paid higher than the National Living Wage, would be getting a BSc, and would have 4-5 years in-lab experience. I jumped at the chance.
‘Working at my company has been wonderful as they have been very supportive of the apprenticeship scheme, hiring 15 apprentices to date. It means I can socialise with people my age while I’m here, which makes me more comfortable to be in a working environment.
‘I’ve learned many laboratory techniques, many of which will be transferable to future roles. I’ve also had the opportunity to do outreach; my favourite experience being presenting a poster at the LGBT STEMinar 2018. It gave me much more confidence and let me interact with other people working across all STEM fields.’
Kayley Jackson is employed by a multinational technology company, and is working towards a BSc (Hons) Digital and Technology Solutions from Aston University.
‘I have learnt a lot from the degree apprenticeship. Not just in all the modules that I have completed, but it has given me the ability to gain my skills that will support me in the future, such as working on my work-life balance. Completing and studying a degree apprenticeship is good as you could gain work experience alongside the degree.
‘Before I joined as a degree apprentice, I was working as a care worker. I couldn’t afford to go to university, so being able to complete a degree while having a career and getting paid is great.’
Charles Chandler is employed by a large construction company, and is working towards a BA (Hons) Professional Practice in Construction Site Management from Middlesex University.
‘The best thing about my degree apprenticeship is the flexibility. It does not hinder my current career, because I am not removed from my day job and the course leaders travel to us at convenient and agreed locations.
‘My work also provides opportunities to reflect on real life problem solving on a day-to-day basis that feed into the course modules. So far it has certainly helped me plan and foresee the route to becoming a senior member of the company I work for.’
Paul Stubbs is employed by a large construction company, and is working towards a BA (Hons) Professional Practice in Construction Site Management from Middlesex University.
‘I’ve been working for over 30 years now, having given up on formal education. I’ve often thought of gaining a professional qualification but the thought of re-entering the classroom put me off.
‘A degree apprenticeship was my preferred option as it gave me a work-based and evidence-based learning route, as opposed to alternative options of attending university at weekends and in the evenings.’