As part of National Apprentice Week, Food Industry Technical Professional Apprentice and Instagram blogger Lucy Watts discusses why a degree apprenticeship could be the right for you.
Lucy had been working in the food industry after thinking further study was not for her.
However, when she ‘stumbled’ across the UCAS page dedicated to Degree Apprenticeships, Lucy decided that was the route she wanted to pursue.
“I didn’t complete college at the time as it was not for me, so I got a job in industry to support myself.
“After a few years working for various companies, I realised I wanted to be an auditor. To do that, I needed a decade’s experience or a degree,” says the 22-year-old from Oxfordshire.
“To get a degree, I’d either have to go back to college or undertake an access to higher education course. The degree apprenticeship offered me the best of both worlds: learning whilst getting hands-on industry experience.”
Explaining why she chose Harper Adams as her Apprenticeship provider, Lucy says:
“I was really impressed with the facilities that Harper has, especially since they are based on the facilities you find in the workplace and the university offers a wider range of modules than its competitors.
“The resources available to degree apprentices at Harper are exceptional. The online library system is a real benefit and the learning hub enables our lecturers to give us all the information we need in one accessible place!
“The apprentice team at the university are really helpful too. When I was applying, they gave me lots of advice and they are in regular contact with us all throughout our programmes.”
Football fan Lucy has been working at various branches of and has managed to get an insight into different career opportunities available in the industry.
“I’ve experienced a lot at Avara, but my normal day job is as a quality auditor. I monitor operational prerequisite checks as well as other varied duties including microbiological testing.
“I’m lucky to have been given this opportunity through Avara, I get to experience different sites which have been beneficial for my assignments - and meet a lot of great people!”
Lucy has used Instagram to meet other degree apprentices and to promote the apprenticeship route to others.
“I was meeting a lot of people on placement and had my own friends but found that I did not have anyone that could relate to doing an apprenticeship.
“Through my Insta-blog @degreeapprenticelucy I have created a network for people like me and found a way to document my journey for myself and others to look back on.”
Lucy adds: “Its thanks to my account that I’ve come to be involved in a number of podcasts, videos and named as an apprenticeship ambassador.”
Explaining why everyone should consider a degree apprenticeship, Lucy says:
“You get current industry experience, additional training and because you’re preparing for a specific job role that’s open to you once you graduate.”