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Celebrating National Apprecticeship Week

This week we are celebrating National Apprenticeship week (3rd-9th February 2020!)

Now in its thirteenth year, it's a great opportunity to discuss and celebrate apprenticeships. This year's theme is to "Look Beyond", encouraging everyone to look beyond the outdated stereotypes surrounded apprenticeships. 

We are very proud to currently have a range of employees who are undertaking an apprenticeship alongside their role. From Site Managers to the team at Banana HQ, we love to encourage our tribe to push themselves in all aspects of their life and actively support them in helping to learn more. 

We work with a range of partners to help offer our tribe apprenticeship programmes, including MKBK, Cambridge Marketing College, GLP and AQA. 

Claire, head of our people team, talks about why we value apprenticeships at Go Ape:

"At Go Ape we hold all of our values close to our heart - they're not just words, we live and breathe them! That's why we actively encourage our Tribe to embrace Apprenticeships and turn 'I can't' into 'I can' and be 'Two Steps Better'. 

Apprenticeships provide a unique opportunity for those that are up for more of a challenge and strive to be the best version of themselves. At Go Ape, it's not just a job, it's so much more. Which means we're about ensuring our Tribe have rewarding and fulfilling careers - apprenticeships are an important part of that development journey."

To celebrate #NationalApprenticeshipWeek, we thought we would speak to some of our employees who have undertaken an apprenticeship programme to find out more about them and how they have found learning something new alongside their role. 


Our Stories

two women smiling next to wooden ape outside Go Ape office

Natalie and Julie both passed the self awareness section of their ILM Level 3 Management apprenticeship course after their assessor interview. 




Joined us on an apprenticeship programme in IT Infrastructure aged 19. He has since completed his apprenticeship and secured a full-time role at Banana HQ.



Role: Marketing Executive

Joined us in 2018 and at the end of last year (2019) started a Level 4 Apprenticeship in Marketing alongside her existing role.  




Role: Corporate Events Executive

Natalie has been with Go Ape since December 2018 and is currently undertaking a Level 3 Management apprenticeship course alongside her role at Banana HQ.  



Role: People Team Executive

Rebecca has been with the company for 5 years and is currently undertaking a Level 5 Learning and Development Business Partner apprenticeship programme alongside her role.  

We asked the tribe some questions about their experience so far...

What have you learnt as an apprentice?

G. Having only been in the apprenticeship programme since September (2019) I think I am still finding my feet. I have found that so far, I am learning to prioritise my time and enjoying re-learning items that I learnt at University. I also really enjoy putting theory into practice whilst at work. Learning theory which is relevant on a day to day basis is great and really helps to apply learnings instantly. 

R. On the apprenticeship programme I've learned how to partner with the business to ensure that we can measure existing capabilities, skills gaps and risk within our Tribe. I will learn how to build an L&D strategy that helps Go Ape achieve its big hairy goals! Studying alongside a full-time job also helps you build soft skills such as time keeping, prioritisation and goal setting. 

N. Going back into an education forum is hard, when you have been out of the loop for approx. 13 years (shush!), but I have found it really refreshing too! It takes up a lot of additional time, including your own personal time, but knowing I will have achieved something so exciting at the end, makes it so worthwhile!

A. I have learnt a great many things in the computing field, my courses taught us a lot about the theory of networking, cloud computing and more. However, it was great to put that theory into practice back in the office. It was great to learn about how IT runs within a business and all the different components involved. It also allowed me the freedom to look at many different aspects to figure out what part of IT I was most interested in. 

What made you decide to do an apprenticeship? 

G. My manager informed me it was something which was available and encouraged me to take part. I decided that it was a great opportunity to learn something I am passionate about and apply to my day to day role. 

R. I've always wanted to study my Level 5 so when the opportunity arose to utilise the apprenticeship levy, I couldn't turn it down. 

N. I was actually put forward by my manager who saw something in me that she thought I could build and adapt on, to bring me up the career ladder. After many chats, she put me forward and I have embraced it. Adding another string to my bow can only be positive!

A. I was working a job in management, I didn't really have the passion for it so I sat down and thought about if it was the right career for me, the answer was a definite no. I had studied IT for a few years, and always had a great interest in computing, so I took the risk and left my job in management and decided to follow what I wanted instead, and although I had studied for it, I had  no experience. So I knew an apprenticeship was the perfect industry I wanted to work in and Go Ape was a fantastic choice for me. 

Do you have any advice for anyone about to start an apprenticeship?

G. Keep note of everything you do. A diary/notepad is your best friend and helps you keep track of your own progress and what you have learnt. Other than this, I would say to give it a go! It might be scary, but learning can only help improve you so give it a try! 

R. I would say go for it! Ensure you have the time to take it on as it can add quite a bit to your workload. 

N. Yes, do it! As much as it might seem daunting at the beginning and take up more of your time, if you are passionate about learning something new and coming out of your comfort zone, then an apprenticeship is great platform to do this, whilst still earning a wage and being supported by your peers.

A. Don't be afraid of taking a pay cut, the experience and the hard work really pays off in the end of an apprenticeship. I took a pay cut in order to do my apprenticeship in the career I wanted. I worked har to develop my skills and now I am employed full time there are no regrets, just looking forward to what the future holds.  

How has go ape helped you to be an apprentice?

G. Go Ape gave me the option to be an apprentice and have funded it. My manager actively encouraged me to go for it and continuously supports me.

R. Go Ape has funded my apprenticeship through the apprenticeship levy, they allow my trainer to visit me within work time, so I only have to do part of my study in my own time. 

N. They fully support me in my time management during work hours, knowing that I need to spend some time away from my desk revising, researching or learning. This is great and gives me the nudge I need. But putting me forward in the first place and actually funding it for me has to be the biggest help, knowing they believe in me enough to do it! 

A. Go Ape has helped me develop in a comfortable but focused environment. Within the IT department every member of the team helped me develop my skills in different aspects of computing, from just running the service desk, to developing my confidence in the work I do. The rest of the company also helped me develop my skills in different ways, from my technical ability to my confidence in my work. Go Ape is a great place to develop skills. 

Want to find out more about joining our tribe and how we help support you as an individual?

Take a look at our jobs page or you can reach us at: [email protected]

three people stood next to wooden ape in front of Go Ape office smiling

Natalie, Aaron and Georgina pictured.