Is it time to consider an apprenticeship?

Could apprenticeships be the foot in the door for your new career?

There are more than 200 vacancies for apprentices in West Sussex – that’s a lot of opportunities for young people to start their dream career.

From social care to hair and beauty, IT to catering and everything in between, there is something for almost everyone.

An apprenticeship combines practical training in a job with study. It means apprentices will gain job-specific skills and obtain related qualifications, while also earning a wage.

Rachael Howard is a business, skills and enterprise apprentice at West Sussex County Council. She is working towards a Business and Administration Level 3 qualification, having already passed an intermediate apprenticeship in marketing.

She said, “After leaving school, I went into work – waitressing or sales jobs – but I knew I wanted to do something else.

“I hadn’t really thought about an apprenticeship until I spoke to Chichester College. I didn’t know what I wanted to do but an adviser talked to me about my options, my interests and what I was good at.

“I’m quite creative and had studied arts, media and design before I left school, so marketing seemed to be a good fit.

“I’m really enjoying it and it’s definitely something worth looking into. Everyone learns differently, but the thing I like is that you get on the job experience.

“It’s a foot in the door of a career.”

Jeremy Hunt, County Council Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said, “There are lots of businesses here in West Sussex who are committed to employing apprentices. They play an important role in the career development of our young people and I thank them for all that they do.

“The recent National Apprenticeship Week highlighted the number of opportunities available to young people – opportunities they may not have considered before.

“An apprenticeship offers real experience in the working world, allowing people to get paid while they train and, importantly, enabling them to learn while they work.

“We have lots of talented young people who could thrive in this environment and I would encourage young people and parents of school leavers to take a look at some of the vacancies that are listed on our website. It could be start of an extremely bright future.”

The apprenticeship vacancies are available at a growing number and range of West Sussex companies, including the County Council who currently employ around 55 apprentices.

As part of the County Council’s on-going commitment to raising awareness of apprenticeships as an alternative to full-time further education, a number of the Council’s apprentices – including Rachael – will be visiting schools to talk to students in Years 11-13 to talk about apprenticeships, what they involve and what it’s like to be an apprentice.

To find out about apprenticeships and vacancies in West Sussex, please visit

You can also hear more from young people who have embarked on apprenticeships by watching their short film here: