Case Studies of young people into employment

This section will grow as we develop interesting case studies from young people and employers in the local area, if there is any specific areas you would like to see a case study from please get in touch.

Business Administration -Concur Engineering Career Solutions

image001Karinna starts her career as an apprentice and now employs one herself!

Karinna Shields started a Level 2 Business Administration apprenticeship in July 2008 and quickly progressed to a Level 3 Business Administration apprenticeship with Arana Ltd. After she completed her apprenticeship she was offered a full-time administration post but decided to move to a company called Encore Personnel where she was a front desk administrator.  As part of that role she had to resource candidates for employment and within 4 years she had become an Account Manager.

Then in July 2013 with her fellow Director Steven Convery, she opened Concur Engineering Career Solutions which recruits personnel and carries out training for engineering companies.

Karinna felt that her apprenticeship played a big part in her achieving her goals because the training was hands on, it gave her skills and enabled her to understand the world of work very quickly.  She also doesn’t feel she would have achieved so much in such little time had she taken a more academic route.  Karinna said “an apprenticeship gives young people a second chance if they haven’t succeeded at school; it enables them to gain qualifications relevant to their career and also helps them with core skills in English, Maths and ICT which are invaluable for the rest of their lives.

Karinna is now passing on her experience and skills by investing in an apprentice for Concur Engineering; Jessica Hewitt is now working towards a Level 2 Business Administration apprenticeship. Karinna is now hoping to grow the business to take on more apprentices and hopefully an Intern from University. Furthermore, they will be opening a branch in Birmingham which will then lead to more apprenticeships and jobs.

Karinna is also working with Henley College, by giving talks to our existing full-time students in Engineering to prepare them for employment within the Engineering sector and she offers work experience for those students as well.

Karinna puts training at the heart of all that they do!

Customer Service, Team Leading and Management -Lloyds Pharmacy


Lloyds Pharmacy Embrace Apprenticeships

Lloyds approached Heart of England Training last year looking for a vocational training programme for their staff and have since enrolled nineteen members of their staff onto our apprenticeships.  The qualifications that Lloyds have chosen to develop and train their team in are Customer Service, Team Leading and Management.

Trainer/Assessor Claire Johnson visits Lloyds Pharmacy head office once a week to assess and build the learners’ portfolios.  Since implementing this staff training Lloyds Pharmacy have been recognised by the Institute of Customer Service for their customer-focused mentality and how they deal with enquiries.

Childcare & Education-St Peter and St Paul’s school

image003  Nathan started on a level 2 course in childcare and through hard work and commitment he developed the skills he needed to gain an apprenticeship in childcare at St Peter and St Paul’s

school and he is now currently working full time.


Paul Starkey his tutor said “Nathan always worked hard and had childrens education at the heart of everything he did. Nathan is an excellent role model for males who are interested in working in childcare or education and I am very proud of him”.

Engineering – Premier Sheet Metal


image006  “Inspiration to females in engineering


Nicola began her career as an engineering apprentice at Henley College whilst working at Premier Sheet Metal using the machines on the shop floor. She then moved up to work in the laser shop, helping with job production. As Nicola’s engineering and company knowledge increased, she was able to implement her own ideas to help the company progress.


As one of only 8.7% of women working in the engineering sector in the UK, Nicola says: “It was daunting for me at the beginning, but I just carried on, The job is very hands-on so you just get on with it! It is mainly a male environment, but girls shouldn’t be fazed! There are great career prospects and I’m working my way to the top!”


Nicola is enjoying her career and planning to go to university to study Engineering Manufacturing part time.

ICT – Warwickshire County Council

ICT Service Desk Advanced Apprentice • Ben Rudd

Why did you apply for the apprenticeship in IT at WCC?

ICT Service Desk Advanced Apprentice • Ben RuddI thought the apprenticeship would give me a chance to start my career in IT in a corporate environment. I’d been to college but decided I enjoyed working just as much. The apprenticeship was a perfect match, as it’s a mixture of working at a professional level while still going to college. I’ve gained real work experience as well as qualifications that will help me progress in the IT industry.

Another attraction is that Warwickshire County Council is at the heart of the county and community. Living in Warwick all my life, it was the idea of working at heart of the county and supporting the local community which really appealed to me.

What’s a typical day like for you?

On the Service Desk, we support a wide range of business applications and devices. We’re the first point of contact for all IT related queries such as new user creation and general advice on WCC guidelines and policies. I might also be taking customer calls, logging calls and responding to customers, supporting mobile devices, password resets and software installation.

What do you enjoy about working on the Service Desk?

No call is the same, every call is different and with the Service Desk supporting a wide range of business items, you are guaranteed to always find something new and interesting.

What have you enjoyed about the apprenticeship?

Experiencing the IT industry for the first time. The apprenticeship helped me to understand an IT infrastructure in a corporate environment by visiting different departments within the organisation.

Entry requirements

Essential – 5 C Grade GCSEs including English and Maths.
Desirable – At least 1 A level or equivalent.

Skills and interests

You will posses good spoken and written communication skills.
You will have an interest in IT and problem solving. You will need to be a good listener and be able to take accurate notes.
You will have an awareness of customer care and customer service skills. You will enjoy working as part of a team.

Daily activities

The Service Desk is the point of contact for all ICT related queries. The apprentice would work on the Service Desk in order to gain an understanding of the types of queries received and how these are dealt with. They will primarily be speaking with customers on the telephone, logging requests/queries, resolving these were possible and where not possible to resolve, assigning them to other support teams. They will also have the opportunity work within other service areas within ICT in order to broaden their understanding of these areas and bring these skills back to the Service Desk (see descriptors below)

Future prospects and opportunities

To acquire the skills and knowledge to be able to apply for a level 3 IT streamlined job role within the Service Desk or other appropriate areas of IT should a position be available.

As well as working on the Service Desk, there is also the opportunity to work in some of the following areas:

Device Support

The Device Support team works closely with the Service Desk and other areas of Customer& Supplier Services to provide front-linesupport to the employees of  Warwickshire County Council. This includes management,troubleshooting and deployment of personal computing devices that staff use to both access and exploit ICT systems and facilities.

Library Information Systems Development and Support

We provide day to day ICT support to these frontline, public facing services and work closely with them to develop their existing systems and to introduce new technologies. Their reliance on ICT continues to grow
as their budgets shrink and therefore the delivery of self-service and web-based systems is a high priority for us along with providing access to computers for Warwickshire citizens that do not have their own devices.

Marketing and Communications

The Marketing and Communications function coordinates the development and implementation of an effective marketing and communication plan for Information Assets, delivering key messages to customers via multiple platforms. Liaising with key stakeholders to deliver IT solutions that support Service priorities as well as providing a central point of contact in Information Assets for Performance and KPI (Key Performance Indicator) monitoring.

Learning and Development

The IT Learning & Development service aims to provide guidance and support for any IT learning needs, focussing on business specific requirements. It is important that we can measure the impact of any training and development programme. To facilitate this we work with the business area to identify the outcomes required before designing a learning programme. This allows us to clearly show the value to the authority of the training provided.

Business Partners

The Business Partners work with service areas within Warwickshire County Council to help them with making the best use
of IT to deliver their services. We do this by developing business relationships, providing customer insight, understanding current and future priorities, promoting relevant services and identifying business/service improvements.

Desktop Development

The Desktop Development team are responsible for the creation and maintenance of the corporate Windows 7 build, which supports many desktops, laptops and tablets models. We script all of the software required by the 4500 PCs in our estate. We also pro-actively research new technologies to meet end user business requirements.


We provide a purchasing service for Warwickshire County Council, for all ICT equipment, desktop application software, mobile devices, network points, and various other goods and services.

Vehicle Technician – Warwickshire County Council

Lewis Clarke is a senior master technician at the county council's Coleshill workshopLewis Clarke is a senior master technician at the county council’s Coleshill workshop where he works on maintaining the council’s fleet of vehicles. He is certainly not your typical council worker.

At just turned 19 years old, Lewis is one of our younger members of staff. He joined the county council in 2012 as an apprentice mechanic at the county fleet workshops.

But, despite being very much of apprentice age, Lewis has the persona of one much older.

First of all, there is the nickname. The Inspector. For those of us who are ‘of a certain age’ it conjures images of mature, cerebral characters such as Morse, Poirot or even Blakey from On the Buses. But it’s not a nickname you would normally associate with someone who was a teenager as recently as April.

The mature pseudonym is largely Lewis’ own making, though. Despite having only started studying car mechanics at the age of 15, Lewis was recently accredited with the status of a master technician.

What does this mean? It means that Lewis can now not only carry out all servicing and maintenance of cars but is also able to diagnose faults to an advanced level. It is the result of three years of studying towards his NVQ Level3 in Mechanics as well as the support of his manager in applying for the accreditation.
The nickname slightly masks Lewis’ achievement. The previous youngest known master technician to have qualified in the UK was 22, going on 23 years old. Lewis knocked a whopping three years off that record.

The future holds some changes in the way Lewis works as his skills increase. He currently works on the council’s fleet including the gritters and school buses as well as private vehicles. Later this year, he will take a HGV license test after which he will work on Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service’s vehicles.

Lewis said: “I’m surprised how happy I have been at the council, having loved working in a private garage when I was 14. In this job, I do something different every day and with courses in HGV and welding coming up, I am learning something every day.”

The last word goes to Lewis’ manager, Alec Would, who said: “The Inspector is a shining example of the quality of worker that we have at the council. In that respect, he is the typical council worker.”

Case Studies of young people into employment was last updated on April 25, 2017.