A TEENAGER has regained her confidence thanks to an apprenticeship.

Emily Bartley is an economy and culture apprentice at Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council.

A former student of Robert May’s School in Odiham and Alton College, she had been searching for an apprenticeship, whilst working in a shop, when she found the council vacancy.

Emily, who lives in Hartley Wintney and studied English language, sociology and art and design at A-Level, said: “I always knew that university wasn’t for me and I loved the idea of earning money whilst gaining a qualification.

“The advanced (level 3) apprenticeship in the economy and culture team stood out to me because the council has a good reputation for providing apprenticeships and this one sounded exciting. I believed that some of my skills could be relevant and I knew I would learn a variety of new skills too.

“I was offered the choice to study a qualification in either business admin or social media and marketing and I went for the latter.”

Since she started working at the council, the 19 year-old has been involved in all areas of the business. She creates an Employment and Skills Zone bulletin and the culture side of her work has seen her get involved with events including the B LOVE festival, held in War Memorial Park.

Emily added: “Being able to push the branding out on social media and seeing the audience’s reactions has been very exciting. It allows me to be really creative.”

Emily’s qualification is provided by Basingstoke College of Technology (BCoT), and an assessor visits once a month and sets coursework. She attends Hampshire Apprentice Partnership (HAP) sessions, during which apprentices from different councils meet up for training.

Emily added: “I find my apprenticeship challenging but also a lot of fun as you get to interact with so many different people. My IT skills have developed dramatically as have my communication skills due to working in a professional environment.

“I used to struggle with confidence but doing an apprenticeship and being around other apprentices has really helped me to grow as a person.

“Once my apprenticeship is over I would love to be able to stay on at the council but if not, I know that I can use my qualification and experience to find a company that is searching for someone with up-to-date skills and experience which will be of benefit to them.”