Apprenticeships: Be Inspired event creates career opportunities for young people

Opportunity Sheffield’s Apprenticeships: Be Inspired event was a great success, despite snowy conditions.

The event took place at the Sheffield Wednesday Football Club on Thursday 9 March. The annual event brings local businesses together with young school and sixth form leavers, who are considering the apprenticeship career route.

There were 40 businesses with stalls, and it was attended by 81 young people. The stallholders were from a wide range of industries, from hospital and care services to construction and engineering businesses, to national armed forces and local emergency services to more.

The Opportunity Sheffield team were present, speaking to both attendees and stallholders about employment and skills services, including our programme for unemployed people with barriers to work, our wider apprenticeship programme, our work placement opportunities, as well as training programmes for those in employment.

Sebastian Sellers (18) came to the event with his two friends, Charlie Goodwin (19) and Michael Robinson (18) from north Sheffield.

“We are looking for similar careers – technical, mechanical, electrical, designing or engineering,” said Sebastian. “It’s an eye-opener because we’ve met businesses that you wouldn’t imagine.

“When you scroll a website, businesses all look the same. They tell you what they do, but you don’t really know. It helps to be able to talk to them in-person. I like the sound of Loxleys greeting cards’ apprenticeship. It involves adding foil and embossing by hand, to printed greetings cards.”

Caroline Wright, Talent Acquisition Advisor at South Yorkshire Police, explained how their programme combines work experience and study.

“They can apply for the degree holder entry programme,” she said. “It’s a two-year programme. We also have the second entry route, which is in conjunction with Sheffield Hallam University, which is a three-year apprenticeship programme.

“So, you get a degree in policing and work with our training department to get the skills you need. You then get given a tutor, who goes out with you, and you get a chance to do the job for real to become a Police Officer.

“It was definitely worth coming out today. This is a new route to us too, so it’s having a chance to explain it to people in-person. A big part of the job is out communicating with local residents, solving problems so you have to be able to engage with people. We’d absolutely come back next year.”

Harry McGregor, Apprenticeship Advisor and Be Inspired Organiser, added: “A huge thank you to everyone who attended our annual Apprenticeships: Be Inspired event, this was the first time the event has been held in person since 2020, and the quality of this kind of experience is something that cannot be matched.

“Our fantastic students of Sheffield have met with some great employers in the region, and we hope to see many successful apprenticeships come from this event. We are already looking forward to next year and Be Inspired 2024!”

If you are an employer, school or sixth form, and would like to register your interest for Apprenticeships: Be Inspired 2024, email: or call: 07584 182 378.