Keeping it real - how Apprenticeship Ambassadors inform and inspire by Nairne Barker

Nairne Barker works for Oxfordshire County Council as an Administrative Support Officer within the Children, Education and Families Directorate. She started her Apprenticeship in June 2017 and has since gone on to secure full time employment with the Council. Nairne joined the Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Ambassador scheme last year and has taken part in a number of events and activities across the county, included giving a talk for Year 11 students at her former school, The Bicester School. She's visiting again in March to help run a workshop on finding an applying for Apprenticeships. 

As we celebrate Volunteers Week this week (1-7 June), Nairne explains what she's gained from being an Apprenticeship Ambassador and how she's been able to use her experiences to inform and inspire young people and their parents. 

Nairne says: "My role as an Apprenticeship Ambassador entails attending many events to promote the awareness of Apprenticeships as a whole. These events can range from talking to a whole year group in a school assembly, or attending a careers fair and manning a stall. I became an Apprenticeship Ambassador for OxLEP towards the end of 2018 and I have really enjoyed this role so far.

I recently attended a careers fair called Futures Fest at Lord Williams's School in Thame, where over 800 students attended with their parents. I found this event really rewarding as I was able to showcase alternative options to university, promote awareness of what an Apprenticeship actually entails and encourage some young people to sign up to job alerts from our organisation when an Apprenticeship becomes available.

I always find events like these really rewarding, as not only am I able to promote my organisation and build on my own personal communication skills, but I am able to remove the stigma around Apprenticeships."

If you're interested in getting involved in our work with schools, or becoming an Apprenticeship Amabssador, please email skills@oxfordshirelep.com to find out more.