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larissa speech

Last month Larissa visited her former school to tell students about the apprenticeship programme.

"Larissa is an absolute asset to our team. She's been learning really quickly and has firsthand experience of taking part in our programmes which has helped us develop new activities to engage young people.

We are very impressed with her professional approach and her contribution so far - she's a real team player who has benefited from the apprenticeship programme."

Nicola Hara, Operations Coordinator



Apprenticeships: the right choice for me and so many others

by Larissa Loscombe, our Project Administrator


After leaving school in 2015, I first started an apprenticeship at Starbucks as a barista. Six months down the line I realised that I had a lot more potential that I could put to good use elsewhere.

Business Administration has always interested me (especially after taking Business Studies for my GCSEs) so it made sense to look for an apprenticeship in Business – and that’s how I ended up at Ahead Partnership.

When I first came to Ahead Partnership, I didn’t know what to expect, but does anyone really know what to expect when starting a new job? All I knew was that Ahead Partnership worked with my previous high school, Cockburn School.

In my first week I came across some images of myself and friends bring interviewed by business volunteers at an interview practice hosted by Ahead Partnership! When I took part in the interview practice as a school student I had no idea Ahead Partnership was behind it so it was a nice surprise to learn that I understood how our work helps young people from the other side - and I think that's been invaluable to my team here.

Since starting I have further developed my IT and computer skills as well as my confidence. I have always thought of myself as quite a shy person when it comes to speaking to large groups of people but whilst I have been here I have had several opportunities to give speeches and talk about myself to other businesses and volunteers which has helped me build on my confidence massively.

Some of the hardest things about the job can be when we are in a busy term and I have lots of work to complete by certain deadlines. I will always try my best to finish the work as efficiently as I can but sometimes I may not be able to help with everything in the peaks, so I find not being able to do everything quite challenging. We are quite a small but growing business, so that means everybody has more responsibility.

My favourite element about the job is how varied my tasks can be. I like having a change instead of doing the same task continuously. At the moment, I am managing the Leeds Law Society Education Week which is one of our biggest events. It is my job to bring in all of the business volunteers from a variety of law firms – I am enjoying this task massively and cannot wait to see all my work be put in to practice later this month.

At the moment, I am unsure where my career path will take me after my apprenticeship but I am keeping my options open.

I would say to anyone considering an apprenticeship that it is the best path I could've taken to progress in my career. Not only have I matured and grown up massively, I have gained valuable work experience that not many people my age will get without taking an apprenticeship.

I'm really surprised that the latest studies show that the majority of parents wouldn't choose an apprenticeship for their child because I've gained so much, and I definitely welcome plans published by the government last week to boost apprenticeship funding across the country.

I have recently passed my driving test and have opened up a 'Help to Buy' ISA account to hopefully pay for a mortgage in the next few years; I would not of been able to do this without the apprenticeship wage I get.

You will learn so many life skills from doing an apprenticeship, as well as learning the practical skills for working.

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