Myth busting (or how an apprenticeship gave me the edge)

Written by Jamie Oliver Monday 19 February 2024
Chartered Management Degree Apprentice Kate Walker debunks five common myths about apprenticeships
A person writing on a chalkboard with 'myths' crossed out, and 'facts' written above it

“I always wanted to do an apprenticeship,” says Kate Walker, 22, who works in the office of Mark Jenkinson, the MP for Workington in Cumbria. “And now I’ve nearly finished one. It’s brilliant. I’ve learned so much and I can apply the things I’ve learned to make a real difference at work, and for my community.” 

For her apprenticeship project last year, Kate organised the Workington Skills Fair to showcase the opportunities available to young people and job seekers in the area. The first event was held during National Apprenticeship Week 2023, and she persuaded more than 60 companies to exhibit, including Rolls-Royce, Sellafield and Sizewell C. 

She repeated the effort this year, attracting hundreds of job seekers. Kate combined the skills learned on her apprenticeship with the practical duties of her day job to secure the attendance of Secretary of State for Education Gillian Keegan, who is the first MP to have started their career as a degree apprentice.

That was no mean feat. Of course, when trying to attract the minister who formerly co-chaired the All-Party Parliamentary Group for apprentices to your jobs fair, working for an MP in a region that embraces the qualification definitely helps. But attracting a busy secretary of state to Cumbria is a big achievement for a 22-year-old, and one that takes courage and confidence. 

Kate, unsurprisingly, is a huge advocate for apprenticeships. And if anyone can debunk myths around them, it’s her.

Want to hear which apprenticeship myths Kate thinks need busting?


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