My Community Arts Management Apprenticeship with A New Direction
Our Programme Assistant, Maria Onyelekere, reflects on the skills she learned and the experience she gained by taking an apprenticeship with A New Direction.
16 December 2013
is your current position at AND, and what does your day look like?
the Programme Assistant at A New Direction and I work closely with the Programme
typical day for me would include things like helping organise logistics for
events we run, drafting fee offer letters for people we contract and lots of
spreadsheet madness and number crunching.
long have you been in post?
been at A New Direction for almost 3 years now.
your apprenticeship prepare well for the tasks involved in your current role?
doing an apprenticeship gave me a massive amount of preparation for my current
role. I learnt ‘on the job’ and I had great support from my manager in gaining
knowledge of various
key tasks of the job such
as writing funding bids, running events and carrying out general day-to-day tasks.
did you find the learning with City of Westminster? Did it feel like a
continuation of secondary school/6th form? Did you enjoy it?
enjoyed studying at City of Westminster College; it felt like a continuation of 6th form. I was able to talk to other
young people who were in the same situation as me and we supported
each other in our work and learning at the college; it was brilliant!
did you see the post advertised and what were your first thoughts and
saw the post advertised on www.apprenticeships.org.uk, the
national website for apprenticeships in England. When I saw the post, I
couldn't believe my eyes! It was exactly what I was after so I applied,
thinking I wouldn't even get an interview. A few days later I was called by the
college to have an interview. This went well and I was called for interview
number 2 which I thought was also successful...well I got myself a job!
made you think about doing an apprenticeship in community arts?
was working for Toy’s R Us and wanted to move on as I didn't think I would have
many opportunities there. I put in some serious thought about where I would like to work; somewhere
enjoyable, but also somewhere that I felt my work made a difference.
apprenticeship in Community Arts gave me the opportunity to progress and
develop myself, whilst also working with an organisation to help young people
(not much younger than me!).
you got the position did you think you would still be with working here some three years later?
was hoping I could stay on after my apprenticeship had finished but I wasn’t
too sure if A New Direction wanted to look for another apprentice. Fortunately, I was so fantastically amazing at my job, they couldn't let
of organisations are creating apprentice positions within cultural and creative
advice would you give your peers, would you recommend an apprenticeship?
would definitely recommend other young people to go for an apprenticeship if
they are thinking about it; especially
within the cultural/creative sector. You
learn so many skills that you wouldn't necessarily gain by going to university
and you earn instead of paying thousands in fees. You are literally learning as
you go along which is fantastic.
I had support from both my employer and the
college I went to once a week. The employer and educational institution are
both required to put in a lot of effort too so everyone is willing to support
you and eager for you to succeed.
A New Direction is creating new
paid apprentice and intern positions with support from the Creative Employment