Our training, your way

Could you make it onto this list one day? How will you make your mark?

There are some very well-known household names that started out where you are now, on the Apprenticeship route. The famous people that started their careers as Apprentices have gone on to achieve huge success in their industry and inspire so many people. So keep in touch as we might need to add your names to a list like this in a few years’ time! Here are the top 10 famous Apprentices:

A cut above the rest

John Frieda

Started his career as a Hairdressing Apprentice before going on to opening his own salon and now becoming a household name with all of his salon products. He is now one of the most successful hairdressers in history, with his salon products widely available across the globe.

Steering us down the Apprenticeship Route

Henry Ford

Disgruntled with the prospects of running the family farm, Ford left home at the age of 16 to take an Apprenticeship as a machinist at a shipbuilding firm in Detroit. In the years that followed, he would learn to skillfully operate and service steam engines and would also study bookkeeping.

Ross Brawn

Ross Brawn retired from Formula One in 2014, having worked with multiple motorsport teams including Benetton, Ferrari, Honda and Mercedes as a technical director.

Of course, his route to the industry all started with an Apprenticeship – specifically, mechanical engineering. Brawn’s first foot in the door came with roles as machinist and aerodynamicist with Williams back in 1976.

Apprentices in the spotlight

Sir Ian McKellen

Best known for his roles in X-men and Lord of the Rings, this actor began his career as an Apprentice at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry. He spent three years at the theatre honing his craft, before going on to become one of the most celebrated actors in Britain.

George Clarke

Architect and presenter of ‘Restoration Man’, ‘Amazing Spaces’ and ‘Shed of the Year’, George Clarke began his career in architecture through an Apprenticeship he was offered at the age of 16. Alongside his current successes as a TV personality, he also helps to run a scheme that pairs young people with few job prospects, with retired builders who are willing to train them.

Setting off on the right foot into a new career

David Beckham -

Baby Becks had trials with his local club Leyton Orient, Norwich City and attended Tottenham Hotspur's school of excellence, but it was his parents’ favourite club that he signed with at Manchester United on his 14th birthday, and subsequently signed to its Youth Training Scheme in 1991, an on-the-job training course for school leavers aged 16 and 17.

Sir Alex Ferguson

Sir Alex Ferguson was an Apprentice tool worker in a shipyard before he became one of the most successful football managers of all time. He actually went on to start his own Apprenticeship programme at Manchester United, featuring the likes of David Beckham and Ryan Giggs.

Chefs that made the chop

Jamie Oliver

After leaving school at 16 with just two GCSEs, the Naked Chef began was an Apprenticeship at various eateries all over London - including Antonio Carluccio’s Neal Street Restaurant. Twenty years on, and with a net worth of over £150m, Oliver has appeared in multiple television series, released countless books, launched a global schools campaign and started his own restaurant chain.

Clare Smyth

Protégé of Gordon Ramsey who himself started out as an Apprentice, and the only woman to run a three Michelin star restaurant, Smyth moved to England from Northern Ireland to pursue her love of cooking at aged 16. She gained apprenticeships in various restaurants across the capital, including one owned by Heston Blumenthal, before moving to work for Gordon Ramsey and working her way up to become head chef at the age of just 29.

Designers that wove the Apprenticeship thread

Karen Millen -

The famous designer – you’ll recognise her name from your local high street or shopping mall - started her career as an Apprentice, training at the Medway College of Design in Rochester.

Karen’s business was founded in 1981 when she partnered with then-boyfriend Kevin Stanford. With a loan of just £100, they bought 1,000 metres of white cotton and began making and selling white shirts to their friends, this soon turned into a super-successful fashion brand and Karen made millions when it was sold in 2004.

Stella McCartney

This designer, often referred to as ‘Fashion Royalty’ began her career as an apprentice with a tailor on Saville Row. During her apprenticeship, Stella picked up the skills of the trade including everything from hemming trousers to pattern cutting. Since then she has set up one of the most successful fashion brands in the country and designed the Team GB kit for the 2012 Olympics.

How to make your mark and take your place amongst these greats

Firstly, you need to decide what industry you want to start an Apprenticeship in. This is not just the first step, but also the most important as making sure you are learning and earning in an industry that is both your passion and your vision of your future is key.

Now you need to find a job, yes that’s right you need to be in employment to start an Apprenticeship. Now there are two ways to check off this part of your journey. Firstly you can go online and search our Vacancies page, or you can go online to the .Gov website and find an Apprenticeship, although this does require a login to be created.

Never lose sight of why you’re doing it. Apprenticeships are not only a great way to learn a trade in a hands-on environment, but they’re also a terrific way to get your foot in the door of an employer in your chosen industry.

If you would like more information about starting out on the Apprenticeship route, contact us today on 0800 783 2545 and our experienced Apprenticeship experts will be able to talk you through it step by step.