From education to employment

First apprentice for national party firm

A young apprentice has landed her dream job organising events for pre-wedding revellers all around the country.

Twenty-year-old Rachael Vasey from Greenside has become the first apprentice ever taken on by events management firm Hen and Stag, which organises a range of fun-filled activities for party-goers in cities across the UK. The opportunity arose from a partnership between the Rowlands Gill-based company and Gateshead College, which trains dozens of apprentices each year in a wide range of disciplines.  

A valuable member of the five-strong team, Rachael is responsible for managing the company’s Nightlife division, which negotiates deals to allow customers free entry into the best city hotspots. She also assists the sales process by updating a comprehensive online booking system that can track the status of each customer enquiry. 

Hen and Stag said it was reaping the benefits of having an apprentice on its books.  

Founder Stephen McHugh said: “Rachael has been a tremendous asset to the business. Her sterling work frees up time for our sales staff to focus on converting leads into new business. 

“Our partnership with Gateshead College has enabled this apprenticeship to happen and it’s making our business more efficient and productive.” 

Gateshead College delivers apprenticeship training with more than 400 companies around the region, including large multi-nationals and SMEs. Latest official figures indicate that taking on an apprentice is worthwhile exercise, with apprenticeships providing a typical return of £26-28 for each pound invested by the company.*

Ivan Jepson, director of business development at Gateshead College, said: “Apprenticeships are a great way for companies to plug skills gaps and become more productive. As Hen and Stag has shown, smaller companies can benefit from hiring an apprentice just as much as large firms can.

“Apprenticeships can play a key role in helping SMEs and major multinationals build a talented workforce for the future.”

Rachael is studying for a Level 2 qualification in Business Administration while working at Hen and Stag. The course enables her to acquire useful transferable attributes including organisation, communication, problem-solving and teamwork skills.

She said: “I worked in retail before starting my business admin apprenticeship and I can already say that this role is much more me.  My current role is really varied and challenging; no day is the same, which is great. Developing the Nightlife division has given me the chance to use my initiative and bring new ideas to the table.

“The company and Gateshead College have been really supportive in helping me settle into the role and there’s scope to develop my career as the business grows.”

To find out more about Gateshead College and the business courses on offer, visit

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