Apprentice case studies

Apprenticeships are the future – in 2022 apprentices are economists, nurses, aerospace engineers, countryside rangers and so much more.

They are vital to the government’s plans for levelling up and building back better and more sustainably post-pandemic.

Below are some case studies from apprentices showcasing the opportunities apprenticeships can bring.

Jade Allen, water environment worker

Jade Allen, 23, is currently training to become a water environment worker with the National Trust in the Lake District.

Jade had always dreamed of working in conservation, so when the opportunity came to get stuck in and hands-on with the National Trust she knew it was the right opportunity:

“I’m much more of a practical learner so an apprenticeship seemed ideal, it also allowed me to get the practical experience needed to work in the sector as well as allowing me to make a real practical difference during my studies.

“Being from the Lake District, I’ve always understood the importance of working together to protect the environment. Now I’m in a role where I get to help restore and protect habitats as well as educate people on the environmental issues we face.”

In her apprenticeship, Jade has the responsibility of working to create and protect water environments. This involves project managing each site, from overseeing staff and volunteers to working alongside tenants and landowners. The role also involves education work with local schools and groups as well as completing any practical tasks needed; from tree felling and plug planting to leaky dam instalment. Jade gets great exposure to the various teams across the National Trust and has learnt a number of skills from them all.

The practical, hands-on experience that Jade has had is what she has enjoyed the most. Being able to create new habitats and work alongside her colleagues to bring together new environmentally friendly areas in places she grew up makes her feel especially proud.

 Jade thinks everyone needs to consider a green apprenticeship, especially when you’re still unsure exactly what you want to do:

“Green apprenticeships are such a great way to experience nature and the outdoors, gain new skills, and be around like-minded people of all ages and abilities. There are so many different paths too, you don’t have to do something practical to make a difference. Also, being outdoors surrounded by wildlife every day in the lake district is a dream come true!”

Jade is currently doing a level 3 water environment worker apprenticeship.

Caitlin McErlean, brewer apprentice

Caitlin McErlean headshotCaitlin McErlean is a 26-year-old brewer, originally from Milton Keynes, who is the first woman in the country to complete the level 4 brewer apprenticeship.

Caitlin’s passion for making beer began while working in a local pub specialising in craft beers, alongside her Chinese Studies degree at Durham University. Assuming she’d need a science-based degree, Caitlin decided to find work in hospitality and see if she could find another way in. Fast forward a couple of years and Caitlin joined Brewhouse and Kitchen, a brewery chain with over 20 ‘Brewpubs’.

After succeeding in their internal ‘beer specialist’ training course she was sponsored by the company to begin the L4 Brewer apprenticeship. Unexpectedly, 18 months into the apprenticeship, an opportunity came up at Cloudwater Brewery in Manchester, which Caitlin describes as, ‘my dream job, in my dream location’. As apprenticeships today are fully portable, Caitlin was able to transfer her apprenticeship to Cloudwater and continue the ‘off the job’ apprenticeship training with her training provider.

Caitlin also attended six 2-day workshops at the International Centre for Brewing Science at the University of Nottingham. Here, she learned about the scientific and technical aspects of brewing, via a series of lectures and practical sessions run by beer industry experts. It was this element of the apprenticeship that Cailin says she enjoyed the most. “The mix of science and creativity was challenging but really stimulating,” she said.
“It was also a great opportunity to meet other apprentice brewers. Brewing is a really kind, sociable industry – everyone was happy to share their experience and help each other out.”

Peter Manifold, improvement practitioner

Peter Manifold headshotPeter Manifold, 46, recently completed an apprenticeship at Toyota Motor Manufacturing in Derby. As part of his apprenticeship he worked on reducing the cost and environmental impact of Toyota.

For instance, Peter found ways to reduce the amount of printing, a 154,872 drop in the number of pieces of paper! Peter has been on a journey with Toyota since 1998, originally starting out as a production member in the assembly shop. He has also worked on vehicle data.

“It was an eye-opener to see how we can not only perform or improve financially, but how we can improve environmentally too,” said Peter.
“My apprenticeship has opened my eyes to how just the smallest change can lead to a massive difference.”
“More people should do apprenticeships and look at the opportunities which are out there.”

Peter has completed a level 4 improvement practitioner apprenticeship.