Katrina – the journey from Apprentice to company director

KC CommsWith A Level and GCSE results now in – if you are a parent, you may becontemplating what the future holds for your children. There are many options out there from further education and university to a full time paid job or on the job training.

One option that is worth considering is an apprenticeship, this combination of paid employment and nationally recognised training is now rightfully being seen as a great alternative for students looking to gain the skills employers need and earn a wage whilst they learn.

One former apprentice who has achieved great things is KC Communications managing director Katrina Cliffe.

Katrina’s story

Katrina 32, a former pupil at Salendine Nook High School has travelled the world thanks to her job and is now an advocate for local apprentices, after setting up her own company KC Communications.

Katrina said:

“When I left school I achieved good grades but going down the route of continuing on with academic study just didn’t appeal to me. So I did some research about what options were out there and apprenticeships seemed the key one. I could earn some money and have a bit of freedom.”

Katrina took an apprenticeship in business administration and ended up working for a marketing recruitment company. From there, she worked on big accounts for an advertising agency before moving on to a tech company, globe-trotting to exotic shores to manage and execute their global marketing programme.

She said:

“When I think back to when I was an apprentice myself I just saw myself being at a desk and that pretty much being it for the rest of my life. I didn’t envisage all of the exciting opportunities that I have had.

“I certainly didn’t imagine having my own business and being quite prominent in the local business landscape. It really is amazing what you can actually achieve by doing an apprenticeship.”

Katrina is putting her skills to good use through the marketing company she set up just last year. KC Communications develops marketing strategies to help companies raise their profile. They provide PR, social media, web development and graphic design support. The company is growing rapidly and is set to turnover 100K in the first 12 months.

Katrina places a lot of value on the apprentice role, having employed one already and considering doing it again in the future – she believes in treating apprentices the same as any other member of staff – paying a full salary and giving performance related bonuses, she also believes in offering extra training courses to develop an apprentices skill set.

Katrina added:

“I’m really passionate about supporting other apprentices and shaping the marketing generation of the future. There’s a lot of good bright young people out there that just want to get into the world of work.”

More about Apprenticeships

The different levels of apprenticeships on offer mean that they are suitable for anyone regardless of their previous education. Higher level apprenticeships are delivered at the same level as foundation or bachelor’s degrees so on completion a young person can come out with the same level of qualifications as their friends. They also have the added bonus of developing the work related skills and experience that employers want, and of course paying a wage.

Many apprentices regardless of the level they enter at, go on to get full time jobs in the company they work for, some even progress quickly into management roles.

Hundreds of vacancies are available for apprentices across the Kirklees area in topics as wide ranging as manufacturing, engineering, social care, retail, admin, finance, law, marketing, IT, health and beauty and catering.

For more information on apprenticeships call C&K Careers on 01484 225500 (ask for Rachel Jolly or Jacqui Grace) or go to the app hub facebook page

Businesses who would like to take on an apprentice can get all the support they need by contacting Kirklees Apprenticeship Hub by emailing apphub@kirklees.gov.uk

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