Careers

Apprenticeships

There is guidance for you relating to apprenticeships on the Parental Guidance website. There are several sections that are more focused on this area.

National Apprenticeship Week
Famous Apprentices

George Clarke

George Clarke, is a familiar face on TV, fronting a range of renovation and housing programmes but his journey started with an apprenticeship in architecture.

He wanted to be an architect as soon as he realised it was an option. Aged 16, he secured an apprenticeship at a small architect’s practice, which involved hands-on experience in the office whilst studying a BTEC in Building and Construction at college. He also continued to work at the architect’s practice during holidays throughout his technical training and degree.

“My 2 year apprenticeship was…literally the foundation stone for the rest of my architectural career. Without it there is no way I’d be the architect I am today.” George, Instagram

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Henry Ford

Founder and original president of the Ford Motor Company, Henry Ford, started pursuing his passion for all things motor-related at a young age. As a child, he equipped a small machine shop for himself, constructing his first steam engine at just 15. A year later, he began a three year apprenticeship as a machinist.

He went on to do an array of jobs, from operating and repairing steam engines to running a sawmill, before becoming an engineer in 1891. He continued his own projects on the side and, in 1908, realised his dream of producing a car that was “reasonably prices, reliable and efficient”.

From humble beginnings in his machine shop, Henry went on to be awarded the American Petroleum Institute’s first Gold Medal for outstanding contributions to the welfare of humanity.

Ringo Starr

As a drummer for The Beatles, Ringo is no stranger to the spotlight but, before his rise to fame he was working in a very different field, undertaking an engineering apprenticeship in a factory.

This all changed in 1960, when the band got a big gig for a few months at a holiday camp in Wales and he turned professional. His family were concerned about him giving up his apprenticeship, but he was determined to follow his musical dreams.

“We took a chance. Yes, it was a risk…I loved to play. So I followed my dream.” Ringo, LA Times

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John Frieda

Started his career as a hairdressing apprentice before going on to open his own salon and has now become a household name with all of his salon products. He is now one of the most successful hairdressers in history, with his salon products widely available across the globe.

Ross Brawn

Ross Brawn worked with multiple motorsport teams including Benetton, Ferrari, Honda and Mercedes as a technical director until he retired from Formula One in 2014.

His route to the industry all started with an apprenticeship in mechanical engineering. Brawn’s first foot in the door came with roles as a machinist and aerodynamicist with Williams back in 1976.

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Sir Ian McKellan

Best known for his roles in X-Men and Lord of the Rings, this actor began his career as an apprentice at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry.

He spent three years at the theatre honing his craft, before going on to become one of the most celebrated actors in Britain.

David Beckham

Baby Becks had trials with is local club Leyton Orient, Norwich City and attended Tottenham Hotspur’s School of Excellence, but it was his parents’ favourite club that he signed for, Manchester United, on his 14th birthday and subsequently signed to its Youth Training Scheme in 1991, an on the Job training course for school leaver aged 16 and 17.

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Jamie Oliver

After leaving school at 16 with just two GCSEs, the Naked Chef began as an apprentice at various eateries all over London – including Antonio Carluccio’s Neal Street Restaurant. Twenty year on, and with a net worth of over £150m, Oliver has appeared in multiple television series, released countless books, launched a global school campaign and started his own restaurant chain.

Karen Miller

The famous designed started her career as an apprentice, training at the Medway College of Design in Rochester. Karen’s business was founded in 1981 with a loan of just £100. She and her partner bough 1000 metres of white cotton and began making and selling white shirts to their friends. This soon turned into a super successful fashion brand and Karen made millions when it was sold in 2004.

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Stella McCartney

This designer, often referred to as ‘Fashion Royalty’, began her career as an apprentice with a tailor on Saville Row. During her apprenticeship, Stella picked up the skills of the trade including everything from hemming trousers to pattern cutting. Since then she has set up one of the most successful fashion brands in the country and designed the Team GB kit for the 2012 Olympics.

Leonardo Da Vinci

One of the most famous artists that has ever lived. Leonardo da Vinci started out as an apprentice painter. He went on to paint many world-famous pieces, including the Mona Lisa, which is often cited as the most famous painting in the world.

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Benjamin Franklin

When Franklin’s brother, James, returned from England to set up a printing business, their father knew what his son should do. Benjamin loved to read, so why not become a printer? To make sure he didn’t run off to sea, his father convinced Benjamin to become his brother’s apprentice.

Apprentices had to sign papers that said they would obey and work for their “master” for a certain amount of time. Benjamin reluctantly signed up to be his brother’s apprentice for nine long years, form when he was 12 until he was 21.