Brandon Sherwin, aged 18 from Longton, is a full-time apprentice within the Asset Management team at Aspire Housing.

He is working towards a Level 2 Diploma in
Business Administration. 

"I chose an apprenticeship after trying a year at college and realising that I learn through hands-on rather than listening to someone droning on about something. I like to learn by making mistakes and correcting them or being ‘thrown in at the deep end’ where I have to think fast and be on my toes to overcome the obstacles in the way of achieving the goal.

I heard about apprenticeships when I was at college and always turned my nose up at the idea of looking into them. But, once I realised college wasn’t for me I started weighing up my options and earning and learning became the one I wanted to know more about.

Within my role in the Asset Management team, I help to deliver the upgrade programmes to our stock, keep all of our information up-to-date, and also help on projects where we have to consider applications from our tenants who wish to carry out work to their property.

I am mainly admin-based within my role, so I perform tasks such as sending referrals from our maintenance department to the relevant stakeholders, regularly attend meetings with our contractors, as well as internal meetings where I record minutes. I’ll also take on smaller tasks like refilling or scanning as well.

"Don’t put off looking into an apprenticeship just because you’re often told it’s a lower level qualification than college – it’s not at all."

I like being an apprentice in my team as I’m not treated as any less of an employee than anyone else, I like to learn about new things while earning a wage, and managing my workloads.

I have learned about time management as many tasks are time-sensitive and sometimes overlap multiple time scales which can be difficult to manage. I’ve also gained more social skills thanks to interaction with customers and other members of staff.

Starting my career as an apprentice has given me the foundation in a role I wouldn’t necessarily have thought about – I’m now hoping to enrol on a surveying course in the future and my aim is to work my way up to being a housing surveyor.

My advice to anyone considering what to do after they’ve left school is don’t put off looking into an apprenticeship just because you’re often told it’s a lower level qualification than college – it’s not at all. It’s actually the same, the only difference being the fact that you’re earning money while working towards a qualification.

Also, don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as humanly possible –  if you’ve got all the answers then you’re better prepared for any task you undertake."

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