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East Midlands Chamber News

Catherine has designs on a career in fashion after Apprenticeship success

DNCC apprentice Catherine AndrewsThe Apprenticeships team at DNCC has helped 19-year-old Catherine Andrews find her dream job.

Catherine always had a keen eye for design and longed after a career in fashion. After completing her GCSEs, Catherine went on to study AS levels and a BTEC before realising that an Apprenticeship could be for her.

She explains: “In September 2011 I began studying fashion retail at Derby College. I discovered early on that college wasn’t for me. At the time I didn’t know much about Apprenticeships – all my friends were applying to college or university, and I felt under pressure to do the same. At school, Apprenticeships were only really promoted to those pupils who were less academic.

"I was keen to work in the fashion industry but the academic route wasn’t an option for me. My sister has opted to go to university to study buying and merchandising, but I was put off to follow in her footsteps – university didn’t appeal to me."

The apprenticeship role at Duffield-based firm Design and Source became available at just the right time for Catherine. Her training adviser, Helen Turner, encouraged her to apply for the role and helped secure an interview with the employer.

Design and Source designs, produces and imports fashion accessories. Catherine's role within the company has evolved over time and she has gained a real insight into the industry, having acquired skills in design, account management and administration.

A substantial part of her role involves representing her employer at meetings.

She continued: "I really enjoy this aspect of my job and as a result have had the opportunity to meet some high profile people within the industry. For example, I once had a meeting with a team of buyers from Topshop.

"I have now achieved my Advanced level 3 Apprenticeship in Business and Administration and have moved into a full time role at Design and Source working as a designer.
I am really keen to keep working my way up, and to carve a career for myself in the industry. I have realised firsthand that practical experience and training can sometimes be a lot more beneficial than completing countless courses at college.

"I wish that I had known more about Apprenticeships and how they worked when I was younger and still at school. It’s important to be aware of all your options before making decisions about your future, and I wish I had known about Apprenticeships sooner, as this would have prevented me from following the crowd and going to college just like all my friends.
I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending DNCC Apprenticeships to others.”

To find out more about how DNCC can help you recruit the right people for your business, call 01246 212519.

and if you are an employer in Nottinghamshire who is thinking of recruiting - or has just recruited - an apprentice and would like to get involved in our Get Notts Working campaign, call Jon Smart on 08444 432150.