This week is National Apprenticeship week. This year, the theme ‘Look Beyond’ celebrates the diversity in apprenticeships today. Bringing the whole apprenticeship community together, the week celebrates the impact of apprenticeships on individuals, employers and the economy.

We’ve recently spoken to Ruby Turkington, who is completing an apprenticeship in Level 2 Business Administration with Derby City Council, to find out more about her role.

“I started my apprenticeship in November 2019, working in the Derby Virtual School, which monitors and supports the education of children and young people who are in care.

No two days are the same, but some of my more regular duties involve reporting school absences to social workers and sending certificates and vouchers to children we work with to reward good behaviour and school attendance. I also help organise events, answer queries over the phone and email, log training courses and evaluate their success.

Before I started my apprenticeship I was studying at college – although I’d started out doing my A Levels they didn’t really suit my learning style. At college I studied while working part time in hospitality jobs.

Eventually I started job searching, which proved difficult when I found that most of the jobs that I was interested in in Health and Social care required a degree – and I didn’t want to go down the university route. An apprenticeship seemed like the perfect option for me; I was excited to start my career though I still needed more qualifications in order to start off in the jobs I was interested in. In an apprenticeship I could be trained and paid – all while gaining a qualification that I could take into future roles – in just a 13 month time frame.

I looked at several apprenticeships, but Derby City Council really stood out to me because of the employee benefits: flexible working hours, a modern and comfortable office, the potential for career progression along with all the support and resources in place to ensure that apprentices feel like they are getting the most out of their training. It seemed the perfect environment to learn and grow.

One of the things I like most about doing an apprenticeship is the unexpected opportunities. I have been able to go on several training sessions to help with my role in working with vulnerable children. I also attended attachment awareness and safeguarding courses, as well as training on website editing – all fantastic things to put on my CV. The team I work have also dedicated a lot of time to training me and ensuring I’ve felt supported throughout.

Aside from formalised training, I’ve had loads of opportunities to work with people from a variety of backgrounds, sectors and professions, which has really helped my confidence. I am always emailing, talking to and meeting face to face with people I would never usually cross paths with.

Learning on the job has been ideal for me because I find it so much more engaging than classroom-based learning, but being ambitious meant I still needed to gain the qualifications progress. It combined the best of both worlds. I really couldn’t recommend apprenticeships more!”


Now in its 13th year, this is the perfect opportunity to celebrate the benefits of apprenticeships. For more information about apprenticeships at Derby City Council, please visit the Derby Apprenticeship Hubemail the Apprenticeships team or call 01332 642633.

What is the Apprenticeship Hub?

The Apprenticeship Hub is a virtual market place holding a variety of useful information about apprenticeships.  The website primarily caters to individuals who are looking to become apprentices and to local employers who are hoping to hire an apprentice.   The site contains information about what an apprenticeship is, the different types of apprenticeship and the benefits of becoming in apprentice and hiring an apprentice.  In addition to the features listed, there are case studies, live vacancies in the Derby area and links to relevant external websites.