National Apprenticeship Week: 'I feel like a valuable member of the team'

To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week we asked our apprentices to talk about their experiences.

We have recently taken on four apprentices to work across our titles in West Sussex and are based at the offices of the Chichester Observer four days a week, while spending the fifth at Highbury College near Portsmouth.

Belinda Dickins

Belinda Dickins, age 20, attended Cams Hill School, Barton Peveril College and Bournemouth University.

Here, she talks about her first month in the job and why she opted for an apprenticeship.

"I decided to become a journalism apprentice after spending 15 months at university studying a completely unrelated course.
I wasn’t enjoying the course itself, but also we only spent two days in university a week. This wasn’t enough to keep me as busy as I would like, so I made the decision to leave and pursue another interest of mine: journalism.

"I wanted to stay in education and thought an apprenticeship would be perfect, to be given the opportunity to learn while gaining relevant experience - and getting paid. There are so many more opportunities to meet people through the apprenticeship and to experience things that I wouldn’t necessarily have been able to in full time education.

"I like that I am able to learn from people who have been in the profession for many years and I feel like a valuable member of the team, already having work published. I love the balance between the academic and practical side and I am given the time and support needed to learn how to do everything.

"It is amazing that every day I am excited to come to work and can’t wait to see what I will be doing and learning that day! It is great working with other apprentices because we can support each other and if I don’t know something, one of the others is likely to. I would recommend an apprenticeship to anyone who is motivated and would like to work alongside their education - and just have lots of fun.

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