From education to employment

Why I choose an apprenticeship instead of going to university

On results day, Jacob Holt decided to deviate from his sixth form expectations and embark on an apprenticeship instead of going to university. Five years later Jacob is now a store manager of a leading musical instrument retailer and has never looked back.

Whilst many eighteen-year-olds follow the usual path to university, Jacob Holt decided to make a retail career for himself through an apprenticeship.

Within five years, Jacob has climbed the ladder to Store Manager level and explains that completing an apprenticeship has given him a level of job satisfaction that he wouldn’t have got through studying at university. 

“I am now the manager of the Bury shop. So I have had a nice progression, it was satisfying working hard and having it pay off.”

Jacob attended Sixth Form where students were encouraged to apply to university. Initially applying to university to study Public Services, Jacob’s career path would have been much different. However, when results day came Jacob decided that university was not for him, and instead, he sought a career following his passion… music.

“I did consider going to University. I think the 6th form I went to was focused on getting you into university and into a job, so I thought it was the natural thing to do.”

“When I came to it, I thought ‘am I actually going to be happy?’ And I thought ‘no I wouldn’t’. I was enjoying playing the guitar a lot more. So that’s why I decided to go with the apprenticeship. A complete change.”

Jacob applied for a retail apprenticeship with Rimmers Music, a leading musical instrument retailer that has six stores across the North. Rimmers Music promptly replied to his application and offering him the place.

Jacob found that working alongside learning significantly aided his progression to store manager.

Being able to work in the shop, being around the managers and talking to people, you learn so much by just doing it. It’s putting the skills into practice.”

“Speaking to a real person is so different than just in theory. You can never plan for what someone is going to say and how to deal with a situation.”

Jacob was just 18 years old when he started the apprenticeship and found that not only did the apprenticeship improve his professional skills but also within his personal life.

“My confidence grew a lot by doing what I did, all day I would be talking to different people about different things or issues. You have to respond to every customer differently as they are all unique. So I think I became more confident within my everyday life as I was speaking to people more on a day to day basis.”

“I wouldn’t have gained the confidence and knowledge that I did if I hadn’t worked in the shop.”

Pursuing a career in the music industry has allowed him to follow his passions alongside work, as Jacob is constantly surrounded by musicians within the store who share similar passions and skills.

 “I’m also surrounded by many other talented musicians who have a lot of knowledge that I can draw on”

Above all, Jacob places high importance on choosing a job in which you enjoy and in which you have an interest. He says that he would take on an apprentice himself so long as they were interested in the job and willing to work hard.

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