4 February 2020
A picture of An apprenticeship is a great way to start your career

A Worcester businesswoman is encouraging others to consider an apprenticeship during National Apprenticeship Week – telling how hers had a huge impact in shaping her career.

Jeya Greenfield, a business analyst for leading social housing and care provider Sanctuary Group, which is based in the city, originally joined the organisation as an apprentice back in September 2010.

Almost a decade later she is now involved in managing major projects for Sanctuary’s maintenance division, as well as being a champion for Women into Construction, an independent organisation promoting gender equality in the construction industry.

National Apprenticeship Week (3-9 February) is an annual event, organised by the National Apprenticeship Service, which celebrates the talents and skills of apprentices and promotes the value of apprenticeship programmes.

Jeya, who started her apprenticeship after finishing her A-Levels, says it was a big decision not to head to university to continue her education, particularly at a time when apprenticeships were less widely-known.

She said: “Choosing an apprenticeship was definitely the right decision for me. It helped me to launch my career, building my confidence and giving me all the skills, training and qualifications I needed to progress.

“I would definitely encourage others to consider an apprenticeship. Being able to get out there and learn while you are on the job is invaluable.”

Sanctuary’s award-winning national apprenticeship programme offers a wide variety of programmes, from level two up to degree level. It was established in 2008 and has since supported almost 2,000 people into work, both directly and through development partners.

Apprentices work in a variety of business areas, including finance, IT, housing, maintenance, business and administration and health and social care, earning a wage and gaining valuable experience while studying for practical qualifications alongside their day-to-day role.

Sanctuary apprentices all over the country will be taking part in events to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, and Jeya says it is great to see apprenticeships being promoted to a wider audience.

“There is definitely a greater awareness of apprenticeships and the benefits that they can bring,” she said.

“I felt I was almost discouraged from taking an apprenticeship while I was at sixth form, but I think they are regarded much more highly now.

“Since completing my apprenticeship I’ve had the pleasure of mentoring others through their schemes, and it’s very rewarding seeing them developing and progressing into all sorts of different roles here at Sanctuary.”