After looking for school leaver courses and then joining college, getting an apprenticeship was key for James Collins, 19, who wanted to gain hands on skills and experience.

After leaving college with a BTEC in business administration and law, James started with PM Training’s Officeworks pre-apprenticeship programme, which offered the opportunity to learn core principle of a business and customer service environment whilst helping James to find apprenticeships.

The programme for school leavers provides employability skills such as CV building, interview preparation, telephone skills and essential software including Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint.

James said: "I heard about PM Training through word of mouth. Checked them out on Facebook and filled in an online enquiry form. I was happy because I pretty much jumped straight into an apprenticeship with Officeworks within PM Training. It was less than 3 weeks from enquiry to being offered the position.”

His apprenticeship role involves preparing exam rooms, general administration duties and formatting new apprenticeship standards.

James continues: “It’s nice here because the office staff are always on hand to help.”

Officeworks Manager Nicola Hudson said: "Officeworks is a great environment for young people to try out different things they like. Work experience placements are vital in giving learners a taste of what to expect in the workplace. You don't get that opportunity in certain learning environments and that's what makes PM Training so great!"

James is now earning and learning. He is working towards his NVQ Level 3 in IT and developing new skills every day within a team of supportive colleagues.

His hard work and dedication paid off in 2017. He was awarded the ‘Employee of the Year’ across ‘we are aspire’ coming top amongst colleague nominations. His apprenticeship journey continues to go from strength to strength.

Do you fancy earning and learning with an apprenticeship like James? Check out our variety of apprenticeship vacancies or attend our next apprenticeship open day for more information.

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