EDBS employment consultant Simon Naisbett has provided a Q&A piece for Peterlee Business Park’s Careerwise newsletter, which aims to help bridge the gap between education and employment in East Durham.

There used to be a stigma attached to Apprenticeships… ‘they’re just for people who want to work on building sites’, ‘they’re only for people who didn’t do well in their exams’, ‘they don’t lead to well paid careers’. Well PBP Careerwise is here to dispel that myth. Apprenticeships are a great way for young people to get themselves on the career ladder and learn while they earn… and find long-term rewarding prospects along the way.

Simon Naisbett is an employment consultant at East Durham Business Service (EDBS), based at Novus Business Centre in Peterlee. He works with 16-24-year-olds across County Durham, providing guidance on employment, apprenticeships, training programmes and education.

Q. What is the top thing businesses are looking for when recruiting an apprentice?

Definitely attitude. At this stage you’re unlikely to possess any real work-based skills so it’s all about displaying the right attitude. You have to show that you’re willing to push yourself, that you’re motivated and enthusiastic, and above all are willing to learn.

Q. I’m academic but really don’t want to go to university. Is an apprenticeship for me?

Yes, of course it is. An apprenticeship is for anyone and this route into employment is becoming more and more popular. It’s the perfect way to earn while you learn and if you really prove yourself, an apprenticeship can offer a career for life.

Q. My parents tell me there aren’t jobs around here, and apprenticeships are a waste of time. Are they right?

Not at all. There are plenty of jobs on offer across the county in a variety of sectors, and more and more employers are recruiting apprentices as they look to invest in their workforce of tomorrow.
Apprenticeships really can offer young people a career for life – if you work hard your employer isn’t going to let you go when your apprenticeship ends. They’ve invested their time and money in you and want you to become an asset to their business.

Q. I’m preparing for my first interview. What advice would you give me to ensure I’m in with a chance of being successful?

Be prepared. Research the company when you’re applying for any job or apprenticeship as this shows you’re keen and have put the effort in. Also, be punctual, smart and come armed with positivity. Show the person interviewing you that you’re the candidate they need for their business, that you’ll be an asset to their future growth. You only have one chance to impress; make sure you leave the interview knowing you’ve done your best.

Careerwise will be delivered to schools and businesses across East Durham throughout February 2017.