"I chose the IT apprenticeship with Zenos because I wanted to go into work and not go to university. But to get into a higher paid enjoyable job I needed to ensure I had the qualifications and proof I'm willing to learn and improve. An apprenticeship ensured that and didn't involve getting into debt.” Charlotte started her IT apprenticeship at 16 after her GCSEs; she is now 23 years old and is working for Harrods in their IT department earning £30k a year!

I found out about the opportunity from a friend whose mum worked at Youth Connexions. I knew that I didn't want to go to university but wasn't sure what to do. She told me about this opportunity, I went to the open evening and I snapped up the chance as I loved IT.

The interview process was actually less scary than expected. It was more about what grades I have and expected. They wanted to ensure I was willing to learn and had the ability to complete the course.

Positives: The positives are I’m not in debt; I have the qualifications I needed and gained myself an amazing job firstly with Tesco HQ and now with Harrods in their IT departments. There isn’t a thing I would have changed about my experience in Zenos. Also alongside your apprenticeship you often gain experience in that career path. This can be added to your CV and show that you have experience.

Negatives: The negatives would be that you don’t have the social aspects as you would at University. Yes you make friends but I wouldn’t say the relationships created are the same. However I know a lot of colleagues from my apprenticeship that moved onto university afterwards who had that experience.

My key advice: Advice I would give a young person is just to show you are willing to learn. If you’re given the opportunity to try an apprenticeship then I would take it…at the end of it you have a qualification that can be used in your career along with experience.