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Quality Apprenticeship The Key to Workplace Success For Young Ambassador

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With National Apprenticeship Week starting on Monday 14th March, we talk to one workplace star at Pembrokeshire’s JCP Solicitors who is inspiring other young people to make a quality apprenticeship their pathway to a satisfying career.

While some youngsters leave school with a clear education, training and career path carefully mapped out in their mind, many more find those first adult decisions quite daunting.

But there are more options than ever for young people who are keen to make their way in the working world – and as one bright young Pembrokeshire woman can attest, getting meaningful workplace training as an apprentice can be the beginning of a great career.

20-year-old Paris Flood is an aspiring legal eagle with Pembrokeshire-based law firm JCP Solicitors. She is one of 11 apprentices currently training at JCP and, like many before her, she is blossoming in her role as a Trainee Legal Secretary.

In fact she has been selected by the Welsh Government as part of its  Apprenticeship Ambassadors Programme to help spread the word, in schools up and down the country, about the value of apprenticeships as a working option.

Paris has recently returned to her own former school, Sir Thomas Picton School in Haverfordwest, to inspire Year 10 students to consider this as a route into their future careers.

Paris left sixth-form early as she felt was not gaining the skills she needed to further her career. She undertook a Business Administration apprenticeship through the specialist training provider Futureworks and, alongside that she is gaining workplace experience with JCP.

It has been a smart move for her, she said: “I knew A-levels weren’t the right route for me but I knew I liked business. I wasn’t sure what options were available so I was really grateful to the careers advisor for putting me onto the apprenticeship path.”

With the help of Futureworks, Paris enrolled on a Business Administration Level 2 apprenticeship with JCP Solicitors and was later given the role of trainee receptionist. She then progressed to a Level 3 qualification, following which she was promoted to trainee legal secretary.

“It has been such a good experience for me. JCP have given me all the tools I need to make a success of my placement with them.

“They have given me a really broad understanding of how the business works and a feel for my own strengths and attributes too. It has also given me the opportunity to engage with everyone in the company, from other trainees, to solicitors, to directors – I just don't think I would have had the opportunity to learn from colleagues at all levels of the business in any other way.

“By doing an apprenticeship with JCP Solicitors I have been able to do work-based learning - developing a career while earning money at the same time. “This has given me financial independence, allowing me to buy a new car and to pay my way at home by giving my parents rent.

“When I decided to leave sixth-form I had never even heard about apprenticeships and certainly had no idea that they could be such a useful pathway into paid work. Now I hope to stay on at JCP and develop within the business.”

Jenny Jones, HR Manager at JCP Solicitors said: “JCP has always taken its role in the wider community seriously and part of this commitment involves supporting young people towards rewarding careers.

“Over the years we have supported around 20 apprentices to take their first steps in the working world and it is always a pleasure to see them develop  skills, experience and confidence and to see them grow in the professional world.

“Many of our apprentices have stayed on at JCP, the scheme has also helped us to recruit the brightest and the best to the JCP family.”

The Apprenticeship Programme in Wales is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.

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Paris Flood, pictured with year 10 pupils from Sir Thomas Picton School in Haverfordwest.

JCP’s Paris Flood, pictured with year 10 pupils from Sir Thomas Picton School in Haverfordwest.