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Apprenticeship success: Paula Kubala


Paula Kubala embarked on an apprenticeship in food and beverage through her employer Compass while working at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.

The 24-year-old completed the Level 2 qualification at the turn of the year, following a 12-month programme.

She explained: “I wanted to progress in my career and it was an opportunity made available through my employer, I went for it and thoroughly enjoyed it.”

Polish-born Paula also completed courses in maths and English alongside the apprenticeship.

She said: “Completing my apprenticeship has given me much more confidence, I would tell anybody to go for it if they were thinking about an apprenticeship. It’s very worthwhile. My tutor was great and very helpful, I felt very supported along the way.”

Apprenticeship success: Natalie Bennett


Natalie Bennett, 28, from Eccleston, near Chorley, was keen to develop new skills in the workplace and so when an opportunity came up through her employer, Mitie, to complete an apprenticeship she grabbed it with both hands.

Based at Mitie Managed Services at Investment House in Euxton, Natalie, a service desk operative, is about half way through her team leadership NVQ delivered by Preston-based Jigsaw Training.

She had previously completed an apprenticeship in business and administration prior to joining the business three years ago, but said she knew the benefits of completing another one would include helping her career progression and development.

She said: “I thought this would be a great opportunity to carry on learning and be able to include an additional apprenticeship qualification on my CV.

“For me, an apprenticeship is the best of both worlds. It is all evidence based and based around my daily work. Not everyone can take time out to do a full-time course and this suits me very well.”

Natalie’s advice to anybody thinking about an apprenticeship is: “Go for it. If you’re interested but unsure just take the plunge. I have learnt so much and I have been given so much support – there’s nothing to lose, only something to gain.”

Act now on new apprenticeships scheme


Jigsaw Training is warning employers who need to register for the new apprenticeship service – the clock is ticking.

The levy will be introduced in April and employers with a UK payroll of more than £3m from both the private and public sectors will be required to pay 0.5 per cent of that into the scheme.

James Blackhurst, managing director of Jigsaw Training, said: “The registration process for the apprenticeship service has only recently opened so many employers will have a lot of decisions to make and a lot of work to do before then.

“We at Jigsaw Training believe this is a great opportunity to take advantage of apprenticeships as long as you know what you are doing.”
“In the first year of the levy, employers will be able to use the funds to pay for apprenticeship training and assessment of existing as well as new employees so this can be planned as a transition over time.”

James Blackhurst said the priority for employers should be to register correctly, which allows them to access funds they pay into the levy, add PAYE references, add other sister organisations and enable more than one person to manage the service.

Employers can also use the apprenticeship training service to look for relevant apprenticeships and find a training provider to meet their needs.

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