hollie sturgess

Hollie Sturgess

Apprenticeship Support & Knowledge Ambassador and Team Leader at Workpays

I chose to do an apprenticeship because I didn’t want to just learn about the job, I wanted to physically be doing it. I know the benefits of having that practical hands on work experience, and I thought doing an apprenticeship would be the ideal opportunity to really give me a head start. I also really wanted to be able to be coached and mentored by people in the industry already. The people I work with have so much knowledge and experience that it’s a wonderful way to mould myself into the best employee I can be by using their expertise, too.

I am active as a Young Apprentice Ambassador because there is nothing more rewarding than inspiring the next generation of apprentices! It’s amazing that students get access to information about apprenticeships, but being an Apprentice Ambassador goes one step further than that. I’m able to give students a real life insight into the world of apprenticeships and what they’re really like. I’m able to share with them what the life of an apprentice entails. More than that, it breaks down barriers and stigma with parents and teachers too. They’re able see a real life apprentice for themselves and they realise that an apprenticeship doesn’t mean being stuck in a dead end job. They realise an apprenticeship doesn’t mean you have no potential. They realise that the success of an individual is in that persons own hands and they often, an apprenticeship can give so many more diverse opportunities for people — especially those who perhaps learn in a more practical way.

I am excited about The Big Assembly because it’s an amazing way to shout about apprenticeships to tens of thousands of people at exactly the same time! People can log in from anywhere in the world and hear from incredible people about what apprenticeships have to offer. There’s no bigger platform to do that than the internet, and I’m so excited to be part of something with individuals who are equally as passionate about apprenticeships as I am! Even if we inspire just one person (although I’m sure there’ll be more than that!), then that’s the job done.

This years theme for NAW is diversity. Promoting diversity is important to me because every single individual within our society needs to be able to see someone that they can not only relate to, but can see as a role model. Often what happens is that people of different ethnicities, that come from different religions, are disabled, are a little bit older, are part of the LGBT community…often those people don’t see other individuals who share those same qualities as them getting any exposure, and it can be so hard for those people to believe they can be just as successful as everyone else when they don’t feel represented. It’s more difficult for them to relate to something when all they see are the same groups of individuals. More diverse exposure to people with different characteristics inspires different groups, as well as challenges other people’s perceptions. We’re such a diverse country and showcasing our diversity not only breeds inclusion, but it taps into the talents of every single person. Instilling belief in everyone, no matter who they are, is why diversity is important. As a disabled person myself, I didn’t see other disabled people being successful. That’s not because they weren’t, because they are, but they weren’t given the chance — and that’s why I want to become someone that other people like me can follow.

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