Luke Jones worked in the apprenticeship recruitment team before choosing to become a teaching apprentice himself.
He told us that supporting students and helping them get ready for the working world has been a highlight for him so far, and that teaching and studying for his apprenticeship online has allowed him to adapt well to the different ways of studying and learning remotely.
As an advocate of technology and the digital elements of education, he hopes to pursue this further and enhance students’ learning experiences.
What apprenticeship are you currently doing?
I am currently studying the Level 5 Learning and Skills Teacher Apprenticeship.
What were you doing before your apprenticeship?
I was working for Leeds City College in the apprenticeship recruitment team, so I already had some background knowledge in apprenticeships and how they operated. My job role was learner-focused, helping people find a suitable apprenticeship and supporting them through the recruitment process.
What made you choose to do an apprenticeship?
I found that I was more of a practical learner, and I liked the idea of being able to study and apply my knowledge and understanding in my job role. Having already studied at university, I wanted to learn on the job and gain my teaching qualification through working in the setting .
What does your role entail?
I am a teacher, so it involves A LOT of planning, marking, supporting students, data inputting, reflection – the list goes on, but I love it! I am doing the role of a teacher, whilst studying at the same time, and the support from both my department and my apprenticeship team has been admirable and I cannot commend them enough.
What are some of the highlights and challenges you have faced so far?
A general highlight of the role is supporting students prepare for the working world. It’s great to get them prepared and ready to enter employment. I have taught some great students, and being able to be a teacher and learn at the same time has made me quickly adapt and reflect on the job role. It has been challenging at times, with the expectations and workload, however, you’ve got to find that healthy balance and ask for the support where needed.
The pandemic has been a challenge, especially with adapting to new teaching methods and applying more of a blended learning approach. Fortunately, I have been able to adapt well and respond to the different ways of learning remotely.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
The teaching – creating and designing new teaching methods to apply to my own approach. I love learning, and being able to research different processes so I can support my students and help them learn in various ways. The job role allows me to be creative and explore new ideas, which I can reflect on and gain support from my peers, management and mentor. I am so grateful to be a part of an amazing team and to have been given this rewarding opportunity.
Studying one day a week at university has opened up a wide range of opportunities and given me insight on teaching and what it takes to become a great educator. The assessments are tough but rewarding and I am able to research different strategies that I can then pursue independently.
My tutors are great and always support me with any questions or ideas that I have, pushing me to aim higher and giving me tips and pointers on different techniques and tactics.
What are your ambitions for the future?
I would love to progress within Further Education (FE), and be able to further develop my knowledge and understanding of pedagogy. I am a big advocate of technology and the digital elements of education and how this can enhance the learning experience; it’s an area I’m interested in progressing in. Working in FE, there are a wide range of pathways and routes that I could take.
Working for Leeds City College has been a great experience and the organisation has helped me develop within the education sector. I hope to be able to work my way up and bring new ideas into education management and further support students as they progress.
What would you say to those looking to pursue an apprenticeship?
If you feel you are more of a practical learner, then an apprenticeship is the right path for you. I am able to learn valuable skills from people who have been working in the industry for years. Not only that, but I will become a qualified teacher at the end of my apprenticeship. Instead of paying thousands of pounds to do a course at university, I have been paid to do a job I love under the supervision of so many talented professionals. They have invested their time into developing me as an employee, and I feel valued and trusted. It’s a great way to start your career, so I would highly recommend this pathway.