L2 Horticulture, City of London Corporation
Lili worked in journalism and advertising for five years before deciding to get back to her roots; literally! Having changed career path, she is now in her final year of a Level 2 horticulture apprenticeship. Lili is working towards a degree-level qualification and hopes to pursue a masters degree in taxonomy, classification and plant naming.
Lili has been involved with several restoration projects at parks, helping revitalise the area and create space for people to enjoy during the pandemic. She is also a social media volunteer for a local organic vegbox scheme, supporting local farmers and community members. Passionate about helping others take the exciting leap into a new career, she wants to break down barriers around horticulture and other labour-heavy jobs.
In her free time, you’ll find Lili wandering around parks with her fellow gardening apprentice (and podcast co-host). You may also spot her crawling through the shrubberies at Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, snapping photos of South American and African plants.
L6 Digital Marketing, Colchester Teacher Training Consortium
Holly decided to choose the apprenticeship route over the traditional university route because she found that she learnt better when applying her learning to the workplace. Holly acquired a part-time job at the age of 16 and learnt quickly that she enjoyed working, which further convinced her to partake in an apprenticeship. Feeling passionate about educating people on the alternative routes to university, Holly wishes to inspire others to undertake apprenticeships having known little about apprenticeships after completing college.
Outside of work, Holly really enjoys running and is a member of her local running club: Harwich Runners. She also loves to travel and so looks forward to restrictions easing so that she can explore more areas of the world!
L7 Executive MBA Apprentice, HSBC
As well as recently completing an apprenticeship himself, Qasim has worked in the apprenticeship sphere for over 10 years (he is currently the Strategy & Governance Lead for Apprenticeships at HSBC). He is always looking for ways to promote apprenticeships and share his experiences, especially to the BAME community. He works with the Prince’s Trust and NCFE to help shape apprenticeships, traineeships and T-Levels. His hobbies and interests include sports, travelling and technology. He represents and plays cricket for HSBC and his local club.
Jasmine King, Vice Chair
L6 Housing Policy and Practice Degree Apprentice, Flagship Group
Jasmine didn't receive much information about apprenticeships when she was at school but decided it was the right path for her as it allowed her to gain hands-on experience in the workplace while gaining a degree. She is a passionate advocate for apprenticeships and inspiring others to undertake an apprenticeship. As a sub-regional chair for the Young Apprentice Ambassador Network, she has spoken about apprenticeships at a number of careers events and recorded multiple podcasts. Jasmine enjoys socialising with her friends and bottomless brunching at the weekends, as well as long dog walks with her cockapoo.
L6 Manufacturing Engineering, Rolls Royce PLC
Sam has always been passionate about engineering but identified that the traditional university route was not for him. In his school, information about apprenticeships was limited and so, he pursued his research into the paths he could take into his chosen career. Once he had found out more, he decided it was a logical choice that allowed him to gain practical experience whilst also studying towards a degree. Sam is a strong advocate for apprenticeships and would like to increase their profile so young people can see the value in them. He is keen to further develop the apprenticeship experience and believes the Association is a key part of this. In his spare time, you will most likely find Sam walking George the Border Collie or working on classic cars, most recently a 1980s Land Rover Defender.
L3 Business Administration, WorldSkills UK
Hannah is now the Skills Development Co-ordinator after completing her Level 3 Business Administration apprenticeship at WorldSkills UK. Hannah chose to complete an apprenticeship as she believed this was the best platform for her to expand her skills and kick start her career!
While completing her apprenticeship at WorldSkills UK, Hannah developed her personal and professional attributes which have supported her to succeed within her organisation. Hannah learnt many new skills throughout her apprenticeship and also had the amazing opportunity to support groups of young people representing the UK in WorldSkills, the ‘skills Olympics' in Hungary and Russia working with an international network and partners from all over the world. This has not just improved Hannah’s communication and interpersonal skills but also her confidence in who she is and what she believes she can achieve.
Outside of work, Hannah loves keeping fit and healthy by working out, whether that is at home or the gym and spending time with friends sipping a few cocktails!
Joel Roach, Chair
L6 Chartered Management Degree Apprentice, Microsoft
Joel spent a year at university before deciding it wasn’t for him; gaining an apprenticeship place gave him an alternative path to getting a degree and was the best decision he’s ever made. He thinks the Association of Apprentices can offer the social element and connection to a wider community that is often missing from apprenticeships. He is also a member of IfATE’s apprentice panel, ensuring the apprentice experience is at the core of the Institute's strategy, and has been responsible for holding induction sessions for new Microsoft apprentices over the last two years pushing to include sessions on culture, wellbeing, and inclusion for all new starters. He also sits on the board of Microsoft UK's LGBTQI+ community, supporting events which amplify LGBTQI+ voices and engage the community and allies at Microsoft. Joel has gotten into baking during lockdown – he would be very grateful to any baking apprentices who can tell him why his banana bread won’t rise.
L4 Professional Accounting/Taxation Technician Apprentice, PwC
James began working whilst in sixth form and enjoyed mixing work and study so decided an apprenticeship would suit him well. He’s a member of PwC's Reward & Employment team, supporting clients on a number of Employment Tax related matters. He has experience of supporting others to find apprenticeships and has a strong desire to help aspiring new professionals. He has also worked with both Future First and Tech UK. In his spare time, James loves working on his car and watching his favourite football team Southampton FC play.
L6 Chartered Management Degree Apprentice, IBM
Euan knew he wanted to complete a degree apprenticeship while he was still at school. He feels privileged that he can work in a field he’s passionate about while also gaining a qualification. He always goes the extra mile, and while head boy at school he made led a successful campaign to eradicate plastic from the school canteen as well as meeting with his local MP to discuss climate change. He wants to use his skills to achieve positive change for apprentices and to create a network of like-minded individuals. When he’s not working, you’ll find Euan on his skateboard or listening to music (usually the most expensive vinyls he can find!).
L3 HR Support, Munich Re
Having ruled out university, Polly found little support to explore other options. Fortunately, she’d seen her brother take the apprenticeship route with the Civil Service and as a result, was confident this was the path for her. After A-levels, she took a year out, when she travelled and worked as a Google Digital Skills Coach.
She started her apprenticeship during the first lockdown and works for Munich Re, an insurance company, as a Talent Management and Development apprentice. She’s almost completed her apprenticeship and plans to move onto her CIPD Level 5 having enjoyed the combination of academic study and on- the-job learning.
Already a strong advocate for apprenticeships, Polly joined the Apprentice Council as she’s keen to take a more public role, encouraging others to see apprenticeships as a brilliant option leading to long term careers. Outside of work Polly loves walking her dogs, running, paddle boarding and skiing.