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My name is Lauren and I am currently an apprentice at South Lakeland District Council. Previously, I had never considered doing an apprenticeship, I wasn’t even aware that business apprenticeships were available.

Lauren Carradus

Like most people who have completed their A-Levels, I was convinced that university was the route for me, even though I had no idea what I wanted to do for a career. However, after going to university for only a couple of weeks, I knew it that wasn’t for me.

Deciding that I wanted some time away from education, I took a gap year and travelled to Australia. For me, this was a year well spent. My confidence grew along with my independence and I pushed myself out of my comfort zone – even deciding to do a skydive from 15,000 ft.

After my year off I felt refreshed and wanted to jump back into a routine.

I stumbled across apprenticeships on a job site when I was looking for a more permanent job than the one I had at the time. I found an administrator job which looked interesting, so I applied. Weeks went by and I had heard nothing back.

So, I kept looking. Then I found a business administration apprenticeship in the Public Protection department at my local council. I applied and got the job. Looking back now, if I had the experience that I have now from my apprenticeship, I could have been successful for the first job I applied for. Experience is very important for employers, and apprenticeships offer the perfect opportunity to gain on the job experience.

My typical workday

My typical workday starts at 8am and ends around 4pm. One of the best bits about my workplace is the flexible working. With ‘flexitime’ employees can begin work anytime from 7.30 am through until 10 am and leave work anytime from 3pm through until 7.30 pm. I spend my day doing general administrative tasks, for example scanning documents and checking inboxes. Another task I am responsible for is printing and mailing out the Food Standards Agency Rating Scheme stickers which food businesses receive after an inspection has taken place.

Knowing what I know now...

Being an apprentice in such a large organisation seemed daunting at first, but the team I work with are very supportive and have so much experience and knowledge. Knowing what I know now, I would have explored my options more, instead of just defaulting to university. I honestly believe apprenticeships are a great opportunity.