Why you should 'Give An Hour' to inspire young people by Apprenticeship Ambassador Katie Chegwin

Katie Chegwin has recently completed a Level 4 Business Administration Apprenticeship as an Apprentice Clinical Trials Support Officer at the University of Oxford Botnar Research Centre. She has since been appointed as a Personal Assistant to a senior academic in the University of Oxford. Katie won Overall Apprentice of the Year at the Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards in 2018 and joined the Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Ambassador scheme in January this year.

We're supporting The Careers & Enterprise Company's Give An Hour scheme this Volunteers Week (1-7 June 2019) and so we asked Katie what she has gained from being an Apprenticeship Ambassador and why it's important for volunteers from business to give a bit of their time to spend with students in schools to help them prepare for the world of work and develop invaluable employability skills. 

Katie says: "My first Apprenticeship Ambassador experience was visiting Henley College with Mel (OxLEP Skills Adviser) and Sophie (Apprentice Ambassador). It was a fantastic opportunity for Sophie and I to speak honestly about our experiences as an Apprentice. The students really engaged with the session asking numerous relevant and important questions.

I studied for my Business Administration Level 4 qualification at Henley College and therefore going back to share my Apprentice story with the students felt very fulfilling.

It also gave me an opportunity to develop my public speaking skills. At the beginning of my Apprenticeship, confidence was my weakness and I would never have dreamed of speaking in front of a class of students (it would be my worst nightmare!). However, my apprenticeship has helped me to turn my weaknesses into strengths and subsequently enabled my confidence to shine through. This demonstrates what an Apprenticeship programme can help you achieve personally whilst really adding value to an organisation.

A final note from me:

A message you share may be the motivation they need. Give an hour of your time to give back to students thinking of doing an Apprenticeship and help them make the right choice for them."  

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