For many young people in the County there is a clear important decision to be made once they leave higher education. Do they apply for university or do they try for a job in the big wide world. There is of course a middle option: an apprenticeship.
Pippa Dressler-Pearson is one of the young people who decide to go down the apprentice route and get paid while learning a skill. Pippa won the Apprentice of the Year Award in the 2016 Worcestershire Apprenticeship Awards, held at the West Midlands Safari Park in Kidderminster. Hosted by BBC's The Apprentice winner, Tim Campbell, the prestigious awards praised the work of apprentices with a number of awards including large apprenticeship employer of the year and school of the year. Pippa currently works for Southco Ltd, an engineering manufacturer which has a base in Worcester.
Pippa said: "I was nervous about the apprenticeship at first. It wasn't a subject field that I had ever studied, yet I gained so much confidence through speaking to customers and different people it has been great."
Pippa added: "Although most of my friends from school continued with a traditional educational route, I believe even though it has taken me a few years more, I am now being paid a decent salary as well as having my employer fund my education. I am adamant that I will stay with my current employer when my apprenticeship comes to an end.
"I wouldn't say that my path into apprenticeship was easy. During my third year the company I was working for originally went into administration. I decided that I wanted to continue with an apprenticeship and so I pushed myself to get in touch with local companies and finally found resolution with Southco Ltd, who allowed me to continue with my education – Level 3 NVQ and my foundation degree.
"I never imagined I would be entered for the Worcestershire Apprenticeship Awards, so I was surprised when my training officer from WGTA suggested that I be put forward for Advanced Level Apprentice for Worcester. I won this award and the final award of the night – Worcestershire Apprenticeship of the Year."
"I am so excited for the next 12 months! I am keen to make the role my own and de-mystify apprenticeships for potential apprentices, parents, schools and potential employers."
Pippa currently works for Southco in the Diversified Technologies area of the business.