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Luke Cassidy honed his skills at City College to secure an early apprenticeship

City College alumni Luke Cassidy has become a great asset to large company Synectics Solutions thanks to the Pre-Apprenticeship Learning Programme (PALP).

19-year-old Luke first enrolled on to the Employability and Life Skills (ELS) course and was eager to get into the workplace so the City College PALP course was a natural transition for him.

Synectics Solutions was so impressed by Luke’s skills and how he settled into his role, he was offered a full apprenticeship after only five months on the PALP course.

He now holds the title as apprentice Receptionist and Administrative Coordinator. Luke said: “City College helped me to choose this placement and then I had to demonstrate that I fit in well and that the employer was happy with me. I now have a 13-month apprenticeship with the option to extend that and do additional training in customer service.

The PALP course at City College gave me the skills I needed for the workplace. Going into work you have no idea what to expect but they prepare you and give you the skills to manage. They would always check in on me to make sure I was happy and supported.”

Luke has already made a name for himself at Synectics Solutions having modernised the processes on the front desk. He added: “I have updated a receptionist bible so that anyone who may need to cover has something they can refer to for a helping hand.”

Company Operations Manager at Synectics, Hayley Lowe said: “Luke only had one exam left in March, and he was advanced enough to be offered an apprenticeship early. Luke is a great asset, the PALP doesn’t only benefit him but us as a company too. We’re gaining new workers who are skilled and have the relevant experience. With the pre-apprenticeship route the students aren’t doing courses for the sake of it, they’re doing the relevant units for the job they’ve chosen, which helps them specialise in that area.”

Luke said the Pre-Apprenticeship Course exceeded his expectations. He added: “I got so much more out of it than I thought I would in terms of how quickly I secured an apprenticeship. The main benefit is it really does give you a foot in the door of a company you’re interested in working for. In my case, it’s helped me to secure an apprenticeship fast which is great. Being on a placement and in a workplace is great because you feel like you’ve achieved something and proved that you can do it. The pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship will really help me going forward.”

To find out more about the Pre-Apprenticeship Learning Programme visit: www.citycollege.coop/pre-apprenticeship-learning/how-it-works/

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