The Sheffield College is backing a national campaign that celebrates the positive impact of apprenticeships.
National Apprenticeship Week 2023 takes place from February 6th to 12th. This year’s theme is Skills for Life.
The campaign will highlight how apprenticeships benefit individuals, by providing them with the skills and knowledge for a rewarding career, as well as communities, employers and regional economies.
Daniele Palacios, Vice Principal, Apprenticeships, The Sheffield College, said: “Apprenticeships transform lives and are a great opportunity for learners to develop the skills to go further in their careers.”
Apprenticeships enable young people and adults to earn as they learn on-the-job skills, study a qualification, progress in a career and gain employment afterwards.
One learner who is making a major contribution to her local community is Ellie Eadon, who is completing a higher apprenticeship in health and social care.
As Community Development Worker at the Link Community Hub in Stradbroke, Sheffield, Ellie, 23, is managing a range of projects for those who are struggling.
The charity runs a second-hand clothing shop, a food bank and pet food bank. It also organises support groups and outreach work in addition to offering information on accessing other specialist services.
Working with other agencies, the Link Community Hub addresses food poverty, mental health issues, domestic violence, substance misuse and unemployment.
Demand for support from the charity has risen as a result of the cost of living crisis. In its latest initiative, the charity is refurbishing a flat that will be a warm space providing hot meals to vulnerable members of the community.
The Link Community Hub was set up ten years-ago by Helen Eadon, Ellie’s mum, and is run with the help of volunteers. Both grew up in the area and feel a strong connection to the community.
Ellie said: “We see many different aspects of poverty and social isolation and our role is ever more demanding. We’re seeing a significant increase in requests for food parcels due to the cost of living crisis.
“The clothes we provide are extremely affordable. Some people in the community struggle to get to a supermarket because they don’t have their own cars and can’t afford the bus fare.
“We are a lifeline for some people. We’re here to provide practical support and give them options and choices especially when they feel like giving up. They often say to us that if it wasn’t for the Link, they wouldn’t be here.”
Ellie is completing the Leader in Adult Care Level 4 Apprenticeship, a degree level qualification aimed at those who have responsibility for managing community or residential based services.
Ellie added: “I love the apprenticeship. It’s definitely furthering my skills and knowledge. I am really enjoying some of the managerial modules.”
Ellie is learning about managing volunteers, how to develop a team, community partnerships and supporting people with mental health needs.
Prior to starting the apprenticeship, Ellie completed an Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care at the College, a Level 3 qualification equivalent to A Levels.
During National Apprenticeship Week, the College will be encouraging more young people and adults to start an apprenticeship.
A series of skills sessions, led by tutors and apprentices, to showcase their knowledge and expertise are due to be held during the week.
The sessions are being led by staff from several curriculum areas including business administration, catering, dental nursing and hairdressing.
The Apprenticeship+ service supports employers to get the skills they need and enables students to become highly employable.
The Sheffield College is the largest apprenticeships provider in the city and region and its provision has been graded ‘good’ in a newly published Ofsted report.
During the last academic year 2021/22, around 2,000 apprentices were training with the College involving more than 800 employers.
Currently, the College has more than 40 apprenticeship vacancies in a wide range of roles such as commis chef, dental nursing, information communications, property maintenance, sales and quantity surveying.
Pictured: Apprentice Ellie Eadon of the Link Community Hub in Stradbroke, Sheffield.