National Apprenticeship Week: Q&A with Jacob Shutt

To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week this year, we introduce some of our apprentices that we have working here at National Veterinary Services (NVS).

Jacob has been with NVS since July 2017, joining the Marketing Department as Marketing Apprentice. He completed his apprenticeship and his NVQ Level 2 in August 2018 and was promoted to Communications & Marketing Assistant. He studied his apprenticeship through Stoke on Trent college and joined NVS straight from college where he studied IT. He is currently working towards achieving a Level 4 CIM qualification.

Why did you choose an apprenticeship?

I thought it was the best way to get to where I wanted to get to in my career. Its learning in a real life work environment, I can apply these experiences to my college work so it helps with that. I want a career in Marketing and eventually want to be Marketing executive managing my own campaigns, I think the apprenticeship is a good foundation for that.

Was it what you expected?

Yes, it was all explained to me and I really enjoyed it. It gave me hands on experience of the role.

What valuable skills did you learn during your apprenticeship?

Time management, lots of design skills, talking to new people, how to work towards new goals. I am able to manage workloads a lot better now and prioritise.

Do you think your apprenticeship has given you a good foundation for a career in your chosen field?

Definitely. It has shown me the basics of how a business works and learning on the job.

Are you given opportunities to have an input into your daily duties and manage your own workload?

Yes. Every week the team have a meeting and I am always listened to and I have a chance to put my ideas forward and take things away to work on.

Do you think it is manageable to balance working full time with a study schedule?

Yes, I think so. I usually do roughly eight hours of college work in work and the rest I do at home

Do you think there is good support for apprentices in the workplace?

Yes there is here, my managers are supportive and share knowledge if I ask them anything. I get really good support.  I got a lot of help from my college tutor as well, she was always available if I had any queries and helped me prepare for exams even though I only went to college once a month.

Did your apprenticeship taught you anything about yourself?

I was quite an introverted person before, now I have much more confidence and I can speak to people if I need to. I have found skills that I didn’t know I had and also learnt new ones. I know what I am doing now.

Did you feel as though you were taken seriously in your role as an apprentice by your colleagues?

Yes, different people will regularly come to me and ask me for posters/videos if they need them and ask me to see what I can come up with and what I can make for them.

What advice would you give someone who isn’t sure if an apprenticeship is the right choice for them?

Do your research and make sure it is the right choice for you. Ask other people who have done apprenticeships. I definitely think it is the best route. The only regret I have is not doing it sooner, straight out of school. There wasn’t much awareness about apprenticeships when I was at school so I didn’t really know much about them. if I had known more I would have gone down that route.