School leaver Sonny Longstaff on his apprenticeship with NECS

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Feb 9, 2023

Sonny Longstaff describes what it’s like for a school leaver to start an apprenticeship with the NECS100 programme and what his experiences have been so far.

“Just after leaving school in July 2022, like many other 16-year-olds, I was unsure what I wanted to do and found the thought of leaving school daunting. I found out about apprenticeships, which seemed like the closest thing to a full-time job, but with learning and training also involved. I have always been eager to get into the work environment and knew I didn’t want to spend another two years’ learning without any work experience, so an apprenticeship seemed like the perfect option for me.

“I started my apprenticeship with the NECS100 programme in November 2022 as the Corporate Planning and Performance apprentice. Initially, I was worried about switching over from school to a professional working environment, but I needn’t have, as NECS recognised this and have made my transition in to ‘my first job’ so easy. I have received lots of support to make sure I don’t feel like the only young or less knowledgeable person in the team.

“In my apprenticeship role, I am one of the System Administrators for Quanta, a strategically important system to the business. I am developing my skills in Excel and learning more about the digital world of data, as my apprenticeship qualification is in data technician.

“From my experiences so far, I have found the NECS100 team to be understanding and a place where my ideas are listened to, acknowledged and valued. There are limitless opportunities when working for an organisation like NECS. I’ve spoken to people with a range of different skills, whom I can learn from to help me in my own role. NECS offer a wide range of training courses for anyone to access.

“During my short time in the NECS100 programme, I’ve found the motivation of others to be infectious. When you can see the vast skills and motivation that other people have, it makes me want to better myself and learn more to progress in the organisation.

“My advice to anyone starting out on an apprenticeship would be to remain open minded, take in as much knowledge as you can from others, have good working relationships with other teams, give everything a go and take full advantage of any training opportunities that come your way.

“I started off leaving school, worrying about what I would choose for a career, but now, thanks to the NECS100 programme, I have an apprenticeship giving me great work experience and I’m working towards a qualification, helping me to reach and exceed my potential.” 

Find out more about the NECS100 programme or email