Empowering career change through Apprenticeships at Leeds City College

Posted: May 22, 2023

When asked about her decision to pursue a career in IT, Grace Spencer, an Information Communication Technician apprentice based at Rossett School in Harrogate, reflected on how the Covid-19 pandemic played a significant role in prompting her to consider a career change.

Combined with her long-standing interest in IT, this realisation convinced her that it was the opportune moment to pursue her passion.

Originally exploring evening classes at Leeds City College to upskill while still working, Grace had the chance to connect with her tutor on the course, who introduced her to the range of apprenticeship opportunities available at the college.

Ongoing support to ensure academic progress

Navigating an apprenticeship can present challenges, especially for those who, like Grace, have been away from formal education for an extended period.

Grace initially worried about project writing, but the support from her tutor and workplace boosted her confidence.

A typical day for Grace starts with an assembly in the hall, where she sets up AV equipment and offers technical assistance.

She also oversees the ICT helpdesk, addressing tickets raised by staff and students experiencing IT issues.

Wednesdays, on the other hand, allow Grace to collaborate with her line manager, discussing how her learning applies to the school and real-life work scenarios.

Helpful advice for anyone considering an apprenticeship

Grace expresses immense gratitude for her tutor: ‘’His feedback and support made my learning experience truly exceptional. The staff at Rossett School, where I am based, have also warmly welcomed me into the team since day one.
The ongoing support ensures my academic progress.’’

Grace has helpful advice for anyone considering an apprenticeship.

As someone who has previously attended university and obtained a degree, she wants others to be more aware of the multitude of opportunities apprenticeships have to offer.

“The chance to gain valuable work experience, earn a wage and attain a qualification at the same time is something I never thought possible. The absence of course fees also served as an enticing advantage’’, said Grace.

Personal and professional development

Grace says her favourite aspect of her apprenticeship is the exceptional people she works with.

“Colleagues have been so approachable. They’re always willing to offer assistance and support whenever I need it.”

When asked what she wants people to take away about apprenticeships, Grace says that they are not exclusively for younger generations and encourages individuals of all ages to embark on this journey – Grace embarked at the age of 33, relying on self-confidence.

Looking ahead, Grace’s next steps after completing her apprenticeship include aiming for a permanent position at the school.

She also plans to pursue additional courses and qualifications to further enhance her skill set.

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