AN AWARD-WINNING apprentice has shared her story in the hope to inspire the next generation to explore all opportunities beyond formal education.
Sophie Corr, says she chose to complete an apprenticeship, instead of going straight to university, as she preferred the idea of learning through working.
To mark National Apprentice Week, which runs until February 11 and recognises the impact they make on people, businesses and the wider economy, the 23-year-old from Solihull has shared her journey from apprentice to winning Technician of the Year at last year’s Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) West Midlands Awards.
The assistant engineer at Arup said: “The flexibility of apprenticeships has not only allowed me to learn about different areas of work, but also other areas.
“I am also passionate about wellbeing and have been given the opportunity to explore this at work too.
“I am now the Midlands Wellbeing Champion for the Nottingham and Birmingham Arup offices which combined have over 1,200 staff members.’’
As the Midlands wellbeing champion, Sophie has trained as a mental health first aider and has been able to promote wellbeing resources, such as hosting mental health awareness and Seasonal Affective Disorder events and awareness training, all whilst working on a range of national highways projects.
Sophie said: “’During my apprenticeship, I have been able to work in the commercial team for a year on secondment.
“Although it took me out of my comfort zone, I learnt so much during that year. Apprenticeships are great for both learning and experiencing which areas of work you enjoy before choosing a set career path to take.’’
Sophie encourages others to choose an apprenticeship but says it is important not to put too much pressure on yourself when it comes to balancing work and studying for a qualification.
She added: ‘’You will be surrounded by fantastic engineers everyday at work and you can ask them for help. People around you want to see you do well and will support you.’’