Jonathan Dolby - CBMDC

My name is Jon Dolby and I'm a Partnership and Engagement Officer for Bradford Council. I started but did not complete a university education and this has proved a barrier in the past when considering which jobs to apply for as most required a degree – even if the subject had nothing to do with the position.

With young children I needed to support my family so resuming University was not an option for me.

Studying via an apprenticeship, whilst working (and being paid), in a subject that is wide in scope and at a level above where I am currently working was a great option for me. I am very grateful that the opportunity was there.

When thinking about what I've taken from the apprenticeship so far, I would say learning how to apply new skills that I have learnt in a way that matches the workplace and my role. An apprenticeship isn’t about learning vast amounts of theory in a classroom setting; its about making the learning relevant to you, to the job you are doing, and your plans for the future. I am really pleased to say that I have been successful in applying for a job that is a few levels above where I am working now. I think my apprenticeship, even though it is not yet completed, has been instrumental in this. 

I would 100% recommend an apprenticeship to others. You take the learning at your own pace and are supported by a great team including a very knowledgeable Tutor. Studying whilst working is a fantastic way to achieve a recognised and valuable qualification and you can practice whilst you learn.

As a tool to remove barriers to education I can think of no better way to do it!