Amy Briffit is an ambassador at The Girls’ Network and an apprentice at the Grand Hotel in Eastbourne. To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, Amy shares more about why she decided to become an apprentice, and how having the support of a mentor helped shape her decision.

I am currently doing a Specialised Chef Scholarship at the Grand Hotel in Eastbourne, which includes one term a year at college and the rest of the time on placement learning on the job. I first considered doing an apprenticeship when I realised I didn't want to spend all my time in a classroom - I wanted to get stuck in and start learning on the job.

My mentor, Charlie, supported my choice and helped me prepare for my interview by helping me with confidence and interview skills. My experience so far has been amazing. I love being able to learn whilst on the job and I love the independence it has given me. I find working to be a lot of fun. I would wholeheartedly recommend apprenticeships to anyone who wants to learn on the job, or isn't someone who fancies being in a classroom everyday. 

Once I finish my apprenticeship I plan on continuing down the path of being a chef and at one point possibly heading down a food science/ food development route as it is an area that has always interested me. My mentor has supported my journey by helping me develop the confidence to come out of my shell and go for it. Without her help I never would have had the confidence.

If you are considering going for an apprenticeship but aren't sure, there are a few things to consider. Going straight from school into a proper work environment is a big change and it can be scary, but can also be an opportunity to put yourself out there and get a head start on your career and boost your confidence. 

Another thing to consider is that when going into a work environment, you are likely to be surrounded by industry professionals who really know what they are doing and you can really learn alot from them. For me, I love being surrounded by people who have been doing the job for years. I have already learnt so much from them and have so much more left still to learn. It can be an incredible opportunity to work with people who want to pass on their knowledge.

   - Amy Briffit, ambassador at The Girls’ Network