An award-winning apprentice from Crossgate is calling upon local businesses and aspiring career professionals to recruit apprentices as part of national drive. In December 2015, Melissa Rowley, 19, was awarded the title of Apprentice of The Year runner-up at a special awards ceremony held at the House of Commons and is now championing apprenticeships during national apprenticeship week.
Her award has inspired her to take on the baton and shine a light on apprenticeships and the value they bring to businesses, the local economy and aspiring career professionals. The move comes on the back of a campaign by the CIPP (The Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals) during national apprenticeship week between the 14 and 18 March.
The CIPP has helped source, place and support many apprentices including Melissa across England and are now calling out for rising stars and businesses to look to apprentices to help support businesses and the next generation of professionals.
Melissa said: "After school most of my friends went on to college and university, but leaving with a mountain of debt and starting on a low salary just did not appeal to me. Instead, I wanted to earn and learn at the same time. So when I saw the chance to work in payroll at Ceridian and use my passion for maths I jumped at the opportunity. Thanks to the help of the CIPP I was offered the role, they also continued to support me throughout my apprenticeship and I am now a fully qualified member of the team."
Apprenticeships are available in 1500 job roles, covering more than 170 industries and there are up to as many as 28,000 apprenticeship vacancies are available online at any one time. However, the CIPP is supporting the payroll industry and encouraging the sector to look to apprentices to help nurture and grow talent.
Jason Clark, CIPP operations manager for the professional careers academy, added: "Melissa is one of our brightest stars and has gone above and beyond the call of duty. She is our apprentice ambassador and will be helping raise awareness of the benefits of apprentices in Reading and beyond. Her hard work and the support of Ceridian is a prime example of when businesses and apprentices both gain from this amazing program."
Melissa added: "Businesses stand to gain a great deal from hiring an apprentice as well. Training someone from day one and seeing them grow means they will develop and adapt to their style business. In addition, the CIPP are on hand to provide work-based education throughout. Earning whilst learning was a no brainer for me and I really hope more and more people see it as a viable alternative."