Insights Famous Faces: A World Built on Apprenticeships
03 February 2020

Famous Faces: A World Built on Apprenticeships

Famous Faces Feature Image

From apprentices to multi-millionaires, these famous faces made big moves in the workplace.

Apprenticeships have been responsible for catapulting some of the world’s most famous faces into their chosen careers. From creatives, to sport stars and fashion designers, successful apprentices are leading the way around the globe; and with university fees at their highest ever, its easy to see why so many people are choosing to learn on the job.

Through hard work apprentices can make it to the top of their field and without the need of an expensive degree. Coupled with the rise of student debt and the disappointment in the university lifestyle, it shouldn't come as a surprise that we're finding that more and more individuals are choosing to take on an apprenticeship to land their dream job.

One of history's most famous artists, Leonardo Di Vinci, started out as an apprentice painter, but more recent famous apprentices include chef Jamie Oliver, fashion designer Stella McCartney, actor Sir Ian McKellan, Manchester United player and manager Sir Alex Ferguson and hairdresser John Frieda.

In 2018/19 the number of students in higher education stood at 2,383,970, an increase of 2% from 2017/18*. Meanwhile the number of apprentices enrolling with us at Seetec rose by 28.5%.

Apprenticeships give invaluable real-life skills, both in and out of the workplace, better preparing individuals for the later life. Apprenticeship programmes also empower organisations to find, recruit and develop individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds who otherwise might not have been able to access further education. Without these individuals companies lose the diversity that helps to drive them forwards, encouraging greater innovation and creativity.

Famous faces

Jamie Oliver, one of the UK’s most famous chefs and TV personalities started as an apprentice after achieving an NVQ in Home Economics. He worked at a number of restaurants in London as an apprentice chef and is now a successful entrepreneur.

Sir Ian McKellan completed a three-year apprenticeship at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry. This programme was the first acting role he received and fuelled his later success in life.

George Clarke, architect and presenter of ‘Restoration Man’, ‘Amazing Spaces’ and ‘Shed of the Year’, began his career in architecture through an apprenticeship he was offered at the age of sixteen.

David Beckham began his football career with an apprenticeship in the football Youth Training Scheme before reaching his global sporting fame. Before retiring, he played for Manchester United, Preston North End, Real Madrid, Milan, LA Galaxy, Paris Saint-Germain and the England national team.

Karen Millen the designer, entrepreneur and charity campaigner, began her career selling t-shirts to friends whilst at Medway College of Design in Rochester, Kent, where she was following a City & Guilds course in fashion. She later sold her company in 2004 with 130 stores, trading across 25 different countries.

Figures from the Department of Education’s Further Skills Index have shown that apprenticeships are contributing year-on-year to the total value added to the economy. The figures increased from 36% of the total value-added in 2012/13 to an impressive 58% in 2017/18.

Apprenticeships not only teach individuals the skills needed for their chosen career, but help to get a foot in the door within a real business. This is especially important in competitive careers such as sports or fashion.

Many students entering creative careers, such as PR and marketing or journalism, are still expected to undertake unpaid internships once they finish their degree. This means not doing the degree and working their way up while learning on the job can be more beneficial at times.

With more funding into apprenticeship schemes, this generation of learners can truly consider their options rather than simply entering into university and risking potential debt. The choices for young people now are broader than ever, making it even more important to research and find the best route into an exciting avenue of education to help increase future career prospects.

John Baumback, Group Managing Director at Seetec started his career as an apprentice at Seetec in 1984.  At the age of 16, John had started an apprenticeship at with us training in Cobol computer programming, before applying successfully for a permanent position as admin assistant after 9 months.

Speaking on apprenticeships, John Baumback, Group Managing Director at Seetec said: “I still remember the day I saw the apprenticeship at Seetec advertised, I jumped at the chance to apply and it’s funny to now look back and see how it changed my life. Apprenticeships change lives each day, equipping young people and adults with the skills they need to fulfil their career ambitions, they are an incredible gateway into many professions and I’m proud to be in a position where I can continue to champion them and develop tomorrow’s leaders.”

For more information on our current apprenticeship opportunities, contact a member of our friendly team today.