From Apprentice to Employee: Olida's Story
Name: Olida Khanom
City Gateway Award Winner: Apprentice of the Year 2016
Previous Course: Apprenticeship at SThree
Current Status: Permanent position at SThree
Like many young people Olida was given the opportunity to apply for university through her college; but she did not think university was the right career path for her. She knew she would not fulfil her true potential by studying in a classroom environment.
This is why she applied for an apprenticeship with SThree after she had attended a City Gateway presentation at college outlining the advantages of gaining work experience; she has not looked back since.
After 12 months of working at SThree, overcoming her initial shyness and even presenting to SThree’s Chief Executive and Board, Olida has now secured a permanent position with SThree.
How do you feel now that you have completed an apprenticeship?
I feel like I am a lot further ahead in my life. You get a lot more opportunities as an apprentice as people buy into it. Starting this apprenticeship was life changing and I couldn’t have made a better decision.
What has your experience been like at SThree?
I don’t think I could have joined a better team and company. Some people might think you’re only an apprentice but I’m treated exactly the same as all the other employees. I feel like a full and accepted member of the SThree team.
What would you say to someone who is unsure whether to take an apprenticeship or go to university?
I’d say go for it. You’ve got nothing to lose. You get a lot of support as well, especially at a younger age. We don’t have as much experience as people who’ve been in their career for years. Apprenticeships are better when you’re younger.
What would you say to companies who are unsure about taking on an apprentice?
When you take an apprentice on you have the opportunity to shape someone’s future. You truly change someone’s life by launching their career; and that’s why you will find apprentices to be some of your most loyal and best employees.
“Some people might think you’re only an apprentice at the bottom of the scale but you’re treated exactly the same. I feel like a complete employee of the organisation.”