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Apprentice, Afren

KickStart into an apprenticeship

In the final part of our ‘meet the apprentices’ series we spoke with Afren Shams, who is 16 months into her youth work apprenticeship.

Afren started out on the Kickstart scheme and progressed onto an apprenticeship as a youth worker with Ealing Council. Kickstart was a government-funded scheme, as part of the pandemic recovery that gave young unemployed people aged 16 to 24 on Universal Credit the chance to take the first step towards building a career.

You can read Luca, Christian, and Sadia’s apprenticeship stories too.

Put what you learn into practice

The 24-year-old, who was born and raised in the borough, said: “I chose an apprenticeship because it allowed me to put what I learn into practice. I think an apprenticeship is a great way to get hands-on experience in your chosen field, providing you with the qualifications, skills, and tools to succeed.”

Upon completion of her 2-year apprenticeship, Afren will gain a NVQ Level 3 in Youth Work.

Gain experience

Afren chose an apprenticeship in youth work, because she really enjoys working with young people, building trusting relationships, and supporting them with challenges they face.

“My apprenticeship so far has been amazing. I enjoy our Monday afterschool session for young people with disabilities at Westside Young People’s Centre in Ealing. I support them by playing team games, activities, and teaching life skills such as cooking and socialising. Our young people come in with the best energy. The role can be challenging at times, but the energy they bring is a key motivator to get up and power through each jam-packed session.”

Afren would highly recommend an apprenticeship. She said: “It gives individuals a chance to apply their knowledge in addition to growing within their chosen sector, gaining real-time experience. In the future, I hope to support more young people in our community through youth work.”

‘Ready to start your own career path with us?’

Councillor Louise Brett, the council’s cabinet member for decent living incomes, said: “Afren is a shining example for the successes of our apprenticeship programme so far. It’s great to hear about her ambition to become a youth worker and her passion for helping our boroughs young people – all thanks to her apprenticeship.

“If you are considering your career options and are interested in becoming an apprentice, reach out to our apprenticeships team today.”

We will be meeting with a former council apprentice to find out what he did next. Keep an eye out for the story in the next edition of Around Ealing magazine.

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