West Yorkshire Apprenticeship Awards: How a Leeds apprenticeship is helping this 23-year-old achieve his dreams

Apprenticeships are becoming an increasingly popular choice for young people and employers in Leeds.

By Abbey Maclure
Thursday, 7th April 2022, 4:45 am

The courses are now the first choice of many individuals who are looking to learn on-the-job while being paid, without taking out a student loan.

The Yorkshire Evening Post is searching for the county's best apprenticeships to enter the West Yorkshire Apprenticeship Awards.

The inaugural awards recognise the value of apprentice schemes and how they can transform lives, highlighting the opportunities from employers and training providers.

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Harrison Carney, 23, is completing a Business to Business Sales degree apprenticeship at Leeds Trinity University

As excitement builds up for the event, the YEP caught up with Leeds Trinity University, to find out how their apprenticeship degrees are opening up new opportunities for young people.

The university offers nine work-based programmes, with many including a degree certificate.

Harrison Carney, 23, is completing a Business to Business Sales degree apprenticeship with the University.

After completing his A Levels and working for his dad for a short time, Harrison joined Ebsford Environmental - an aquatic engineering and herbicide management company based in Wakefield.

Dan Lancaster-Holmes is the relationship manager at the University's Centre for Apprenticeships, Work-based Learning and Skills

Initially recruited as a herbicide sprayer, Harrison worked his way up to a managerial position, but was looking to move into a commercial role at the company, selling its services and broadening its network.

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"That's where the course has come in," Harrison told the Yorkshire Evening Post.

“It’s given me a platform to learn the skills I need and to apply them to the job.

“Apprenticeships are a great way of applying what you’ve learnt into a workplace scenario. You can learn something and then put it into something that makes sense in your work.”

Harrison balances academic research and theory with practical skills, implementing what he's learnt into his role.

One of his workplace projects is growing the revenue in his department, he's set a target of boosting income by 50-100 per cent, and he hopes that after he's completed the course he'll be able to lead the team.

Harrison added: “In the past, I wouldn’t have considered an apprenticeship route - I wanted to go down the traditional university route, but later on I realised that wouldn't have worked for me.

“I wanted to get hands on, then the option came up where I could do both.”

Dan Lancaster-Holmes is the relationship manager at the University's Centre for Apprenticeships, Work-based Learning and Skills.

He said that apprenticeships are an appealing choice; a chance to complete a degree-level qualification, without having to attend university four days a week or take out a student loan.

“What employers are after is a highly-skilled, flexible workforce," Dan said.

“And that’s exactly what an apprenticeship provides, the individual will develop transferable skills, as well as a high level of sector-specific knowledge.

“It offers that route into higher education and lifelong learning for people who didn’t want to go down the academic route, or who weren’t suited to that lifestyle.

“We want to make sure that everybody, regardless of their background, has the opportunity to develop new skills and get into attractive careers - maximising their earning potential.”

The University is backing the Mentor of the Year category in the West Yorkshire Apprenticeships Awards - and there are less than two weeks left to enter.

Nominations can be submitted by the apprentice themselves, their employer, college or training provider or even by proud loved ones.

Dan added: “The Awards are a great way of showing the talent, commitment and enterprise that young people show when they’re developing the skills on their apprenticeship.

"It amplifies the message that apprenticeships are there for everyone.”

You can enter the Awards and find out more here.