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Date posted: Mon 12 Feb 2024

Last week was National Apprenticeship week and we took the opportunity to showcase how much value an apprenticeship provides.

Adam Barnes (Director & Shareholder) at Prestige Recruitment, started his professional recruitment journey back in 1999.

We did a short Q&A session with Adam and asked him 5 questions

 Why did you choose to do an apprenticeship route?

  1. Why did you choose to work at Prestige?
  2. What made you stay here after your apprenticeship finishing?
  3. How has your apprenticeship helped you both professionally and personally?
  4. Would you recommend doing apprenticeship and why?


Here is what they had to say:

Why did you choose to do an apprenticeship route?

“The world was a different place back in the 90’s where the majority of school leavers would go straight into work and the path you had to take for a career was to follow the apprenticeship route, where a smaller % would stay on in 6 form for further education and furthermore university. If I am honest even though I would say I was a smart young man but I was not interested in being academic and was one of them students which the teachers no doubt dread having me in their class.

At the time I did not know what to do so as most young adults do at that age is follow friends or dependants career choice, it is what I did myself and followed my father’s career choice in engineering. As I was not focused academically I did struggled to pass some of the tests I needed to undertake with some of the training providers at that time, which depended or dictated on the trade I was hoping to undertake so choice was limited for me personally. Finally, I was accepted with a training provider to where they found me a placement at a fabrication company to where I started my path as an apprentice as a Welder and Fabricator.

Two years into the apprenticeship after successfully completing my City & Guilds level 2 in fabrication and Welding I was offered a role directly with the employer but was disappointed when offered the job, as my salary at the time did not change. This made me evaluate my decision based on following my farther footsteps into engineering and with technology forever changing I decided to take a different path in business and had to start again.

The process was very similar you had to interviewed and take tests to be accepted with any training provider to which I had done successfully and again did not have an idea on choice based on industry a placement came up at a recruitment company for an administrator to which I accepted the placement.”


Why did you choose to work at Prestige?

“My first placement from the training provider was with a company called Interim Employment so coming into the industry I believe was fate, they were on a such a smaller scale to Prestige but a competitor no doubt. Prestige as it is now was one probably the number 1 recruitment business at the time in the area so professional so prestigious, everything about the business such as marketing their presence and white collar approached felt like if I was going to make it in the industry and into a successful career Prestige would be in no doubt the vessel I would see myself in to succeed. I had a lot going on at the time based on personal issues whilst at Interim Employment and my parents split leaving my youngest sibling with no support so at a ripe age of 17/18 not only was I trying to do my best in my career I also became a guardian and sadly my job ended up a struggle as I had to support my youngest sister of five and needed time away from work.

Again I believe it was fate, but when I returned to work at Interim Employment, Prestige had contacted me that same day to see if I was finalising my last year as an Apprentice and joining them for employment and to see them for interview to which I kindly excepted, on the same day Interim Employment had let me go based on my absences due to my family issue and the rest of course is history to where I started at Prestige on Monday 20th September 1999.”


What made you stay here after your apprenticeship finishing?

“I believe I was born for recruitment and destined to work for Prestige, my strengths are my personality, am confident some people said cocky as well as I had the right Passion and Attitude to succeed with any challenge that was put in my way, I found the perfect job for me with the people to match. Recruitment is no doubt one of the hardest careers to undertake when your people is your product but the job satisfaction you get from recruitment is overwhelming, helping candidates through their journey and finding the perfect career for them in turn helping businesses succeed and grow in infrastructure not to mention meeting new and interesting people every day.

I was given so much support going through my apprenticeship at the time to where we became a family, a family I did not want to lose and I could see then how fortunate I was and, in a way, knew with hard work I would be sat where I am today.”


How has your apprenticeship helped you both professionally and personally?

“When I left School, I was not very academic but doing an apprenticeship ensured I was employable and gave me the chance to prove to an employer I have the right passion and attitude to learn. The Apprenticeship helped me into adult life not only do you acquire practical skills the Apprenticeships also help you develop soft skills and what I mean by that is it helps build confidence, communication, time management, problem-solving and team work. It has ensured that I learned the job from the start in turn make me better equipped to undertake the role effectively. The combination of on the job training with an employer and a day with the trainer provider gave me academic knowledge with hands-on experience with on the job training, which prepared me for the real-world situations.

If it was not for the Apprenticeship and I was very fortunate to have the right support from the right business I would not be where I am today… I have not done to bad which in turn has gave me the life I could only dream of.”


Would you recommend doing apprenticeship and why?

“Absolutely I am living proof of why an apprenticeship really does work and can point you in the direction of 10 other successful consultants of mine that has also done an apprenticeship program. By undertaking an apprenticeship, you can boost your CV and employability level, develop your skills increasing your salary expectations, all whilst earning money to do it, learning new skills and earning money for it is a no brainer in my eyes.

Picking up recognised qualifications which you can take anywhere you go making you that more attractive and employable which in turn can only help with your career aspirations. Leaving school, coming into the world of employment or just following your career goals can be intimidating to most the support and guidance you receive through the whole journey enables you to reach your full potential setting you up to succeed rather than fail.”


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