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Luca Jerome sitting at his desk, holding his certificate

Meet Luca, apprentice of the year

Apprenticeships are a great way to get on-the-job experience, gain qualifications and can lead to well-paid employment.

Ealing Council’s apprenticeship scheme has been running for more than 17 years and as part of National Apprenticeship Week, which was celebrated earlier this month, Luca Jerome was crowned ‘Apprentice of the Year’.

We met with the 21-year-old food safety apprentice to find out how he feels about winning this year’s title.

‘It feels great to be recognised for all the hard work I put in’

Luca, who has lived in Hanwell since he was 5 years old, was nominated for the award by his supervisor for being a professional on the job. His supervisor, Mary, described him as having ‘highly developed interpersonal skills and excellent judgement’.

Luca said: “I was quite surprised I won, as I didn’t even know I was nominated. It feels great to be recognised for all the hard work I put in.”

Why an apprenticeship?

Luca went to Portsmouth University at 18 to study Geology – a course he did not enjoy – before deciding on an apprenticeship with Ealing Council. His apprenticeship is for 18 months, and he will gain a NVQ Level 3 in Business Administration.

He said: “I wanted to do something more useful than working in a restaurant or café. I felt an apprenticeship was the perfect opportunity because I was getting a qualification that can be used later in life, as well as getting experience of working in an office.

“I chose this apprenticeship because I was interested to see the other side of food businesses and how they are run. A business administration apprenticeship is so versatile and I hope it will help me in the future.”

My experience as an apprentice

Luca says he really enjoys working as an apprentice in the council’s food safety team. He felt welcomed from the start and gets on well with the team. He also finds the work very interesting.

“Working in food safety has given me a good insight into which places I should avoid eating at. It’s not something I really thought about before, but I now pay more attention to food hygiene ratings.”

Next steps

Luca hopes to progress into a permanent role within the food safety team, or elsewhere in the council, when his apprenticeship comes to an end.

’Kickstart your career with us’

Councillor Louise Brett, the council’s cabinet member for decent living incomes, said: “It was fantastic to celebrate the achievements of our apprentices at the special awards ceremony earlier this month. I enjoyed meeting apprentices and hearing their stories, including Luca’s, as it highlights how successful our apprenticeship programme is.

“If hearing Luca’s story has inspired you to find out more about apprenticeships, I encourage you to reach out to our apprenticeships team – kickstart your career with us.”

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