Discovering the value of apprenticeships

The Discoverer's Apprentice.

I thought a Discovery Session was another one of those things that I probably didn't need to know about. I couldn't have been more wrong and an afternoon on finding out about the range of apprenticeships available and how the Civil Service supports those iniatives soon changed my mind. This latest convert is already looking forward to discovering more at the next session.

The Apprenticeship Discovery Session was hosted by “the Stamp family” (former Civil Service Local north west academy delegates), and their warm welcome on arrival was just as sunny as my journey to Ryscar House had been, despite a borrowed sat-nav and an impending dental appointment to worry about.

Paul Voller opened the session with an overview of Civil Service Local and Apprenticeships. He was humorous and confident, quickly establishing a rapport with the audience. It’s easy to be cynical, but I defy anyone to do so after hearing Paul highlight our accomplishments. Civil Service Local north west has made a real difference to people’s lives through projects such as working in schools and prisons.

Next up was Donna Gyles, an enthusiastic liaison officer from Moss Side Fire Station Boxing Club. She gave an overview of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service's involvement with youth engagement programmes, skill development and apprenticeship schemes. Donna stressed the importance of engaging with areas of the community that had previously attacked the fire service. They’ve now built good relationships, delivering training, progression pathways and apprenticeships to 300 young people a year.

The apprenticeship quiz provided a light-hearted break in proceedings and I realised I actually knew more than I thought. Go me!

Ian Ryan from the National Apprenticeship Service then gave a detailed view of a typical apprenticeship including knowledge and competency elements, functional skills and personal learning. As my only frame of reference for apprenticeships was my Dad's at British Leyland, I was surprised to see an impressive list of some of the companies that currently offer apprenticeships, including Virgin Media, Aviva and Starbucks.

Like the old music hall joke, it was soon two thirty and I had to leave for a dental appointment.

Luckily, there are plenty more Discovery Sessions planned for July, in Manchester and Liverpool. So watch this space for an update from their latest convert.

Share this page

1 comment

  1. Comment by Kathie bates posted on

    Discovery session was the name chosen by one of our staff when we realised we could no longer offer lunch at our 'lunch and learn'. So glad you didn't ignore us....many more sessions to follow with some truly inspirational speakers - watch this space.