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My Apprenticeship at the Trust: George Gregoriou

Celebrating National Apprenticeship Week, 8th-14th February 2021

George Gregoriou Apprentice.jpeg
George at work in Shakespeare's Birthplace gardens

My apprenticeship with the Trust has been challenging but rewarding, it has included 10 weeks of theoretical study at Pershore College and two years of practical learning and putting skills into practice at my workplace, in the gardens of the five Shakespeare family homes. This worked in a vice versa way, what I learned in theory at college I was able to put into practice at work, and I also learned from my colleagues in the Gardens team who supported me.

Before starting this apprenticeship, I didn't understand the value of working towards a qualification such as this. I feel that the value of apprenticeships are underrated, as it's an excellent way of obtaining all the necessary skills whilst still earning a wage. 

I am now coming to the end of my Level 2 Horticultural Operative Apprenticeship with Pershore College and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, as I completed my end point assessment exam on 29th January 2021. This is a four part exam, consisting of practical tasks and a professional discussion based on skills I have learned both practical and theoretical over the two years.

Apprenticeships are an excellent way of obtaining all the necessary skills whilst earning a wage.

The biggest challenge for me was returning to an educational environment, but as this was always linked with skills learnt in the workplace, I found it helpful but not overwhelming. One of my hardest challenges was learning the Latin plant names and how to pronounce them. Linked to this my biggest reward, which is being able to give visitors to the five Shakespeare family homes information about the plants, their Latin name and advice on how to care for it.

Overall I would recommend an apprenticeship, as no matter your age it can be a great route to a career change. At my workplace the support I received from my line manager, the Gardens Team Leader and other Gardens team members and colleagues across the Trust, has helped me achieve a distinction grade at my end point assessment. I suggest you consider apprenticeships with an open mind.

Thank you once again to everyone at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and Pershore College. 

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‘Build the Future’ is a great campaign, as it is so important for everyone to have access to opportunities to train, work and achieve their ambitions. Apprenticeships are a great way to do this and I would highly recommend looking out for opportunities when they come up!

For more National Apprenticeship Week content, follow us on Twitter @ShakespeareBT and search the hashtags #NAW2021 #BuildTheFuture.

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