This week (4-8 March) is National Apprenticeship Week, celebrating the impact of apprenticeships on individuals, employers and the economy – and one young person who has definitely benefitted from this type of training is a 16-year-old from Penzance.
Megan McClary, who hopes to run her own business in the future, started her Truro-Penwith College apprenticeship in Business Administration in the Wharfside constituency office of West Cornwall MP Derek Thomas last August and says she has thoroughly enjoyed her experiences so far.
“I’d worked in Saturday jobs before but those sorts of jobs don’t give you a proper feel for the real work that goes on behind the scenes and I think I’ve learned a great deal in the time I’ve been here,” she said.
One particular area where Megan feels she is benefiting from being in a ‘live’ business environment is in answering the phone and dealing with people from all sorts of backgrounds when they visit the office with an issue. She has also gained new skills in writing business letters and in compiling and updating databases.
“I know that when I leave Derek’s office after a year, I’ll be much better equipped to deal with the day-to-day challenges that you come up against in the workplace,” she added.
For his part, Derek Thomas says that he is delighted to have been able to give Megan a start in her business career.
“Megan has been a real asset to the office and happily gets stuck in to whatever job that needs doing,” he said.
“I’m a great believer in apprenticeships and want to increase the number of them available to people in West Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly so that young people have the option to gain a vocation without travelling out of the county.
“One of the issues here in West Cornwall is that companies are finding it difficult to attract young people with the necessary skills so apprenticeships are a great way of ensuring that they can get the right people with the right skills who will help them grow their business.”
For more information on what’s going on as part of National Apprenticeship Week, click here.