During National Apprenticeship Week, business administration apprentice and apprenticeship ambassador Knewly McGuigan from Openshaw in Manchester had the opportunity to meet with Bury South MP and former Skills Minister, Ivan Lewis. 

Knewly is employed at the University of Manchester in the Division of Nursing, Midwifery & Social Work.  She completed her Level 2 apprenticeship, before progressing to achieve Level 3, and is now planning to embark on her Level 4 apprenticeship later this year.

At the meeting at the MP’s office in Prestwich, Knewly heard about the working life of an MP, both at Westminster and in his constituency.  She was also able to explain to Mr Lewis her role as an apprenticeship ambassador across the North West.  Knewly is one of a group of ambassadors who share their experiences of apprenticeship with young people who are considering their career options.

Knewly said:  “It was fascinating to hear about the work of an MP.  Mr Lewis has been a minister and shadow minister in several different government departments, and it was interesting to hear how he has had to balance his national roles whilst also looking after the interests of his local constituents.   He was very interested in my role as an apprenticeship ambassador, and was very supportive of the idea of giving apprenticeships a higher status in the public eye.”

Knewly continued:  “I’m really happy that I chose the apprenticeship route and working at the University, there are so many different areas of work that are available.  I didn’t get much information about apprenticeships when I was at school, so I’m happy to be able to help other young people to make the right decisions about their future. The apprenticeship programme at the university has given me a clear career path with a global, prestigious employer and the sky is my limit.”

Jayne Worthington, Managing Director of The Skills Company said:  “The theme of this year’s National Apprenticeship Week is the ‘ladder of opportunity’, focusing on the progression opportunities that apprenticeships present.  Knewly is a brilliant example of progression in action.  Not only has she progressed through the apprenticeship levels with the help of her supportive employer, but she is now looking to share her positive experiences with the next generation of potential apprenticeship recruits so that they can make the right career choices.”

Steve Grant, Assistant Director of HR at the university said:  “Knewly was amongst our first cohort of administration apprentices and her progress has been inspirational.  Knewly’s own experience has informed her passion for apprenticeships and we are very proud of her achievements and those of the other young people who have joined us.”