1 month ago

The career choices for all people in 2020 offer life changing opportunities. As the new decade starts the options and pathways available have never been more open; Apprenticeships, T Levels, A Levels or University?  This presents two questions…

Where are you in the world today? Where in the world do you want to be tomorrow?

Two questions which I was asked when I started my career in the 1990’s, but to be honest I wasn’t too sure. I left school having done ok, I liked school sure enough but what I wanted to do was to be a Chef.  

Catering College was the start of it all for me, before that I was shy, closed and very awkward when speaking with people.  The Catering and Hospitality industry changed that straight away, having to study both “back of house” and “front of house” pushed me to be open, talkative and communicate effectively, as I rushed around the kitchens of South Yorkshire. Then College offered me the chance to study and work in North East France, as part of a college exchange programme.  That was it, completely out of my comfort zone, not only did I have to talk to new people, I had to speak in French. Comfort zone absolutely demolished! 

Fast forward to 2012, as the Culinary Project Manager of two London Olympic game venues, I helped deliver the largest catering operation since World War Two. This has been my greatest challenge, catering for almost 60,000 people per day and feeding a work force of 8,000 people 24 hours a day, pushed me to develop a new career, one based on resolve and determination.

All these experiences, challenges, setbacks and successes have led me to my current role, as Director at NOCN.  I am now responsible for ensuring that Apprentices, Students and Learners, across the globe, have the right opportunities and options open to them, ensuring they can answer those two questions. 

As the world moves into the fourth Industrial revolution, future skills and behaviours, along with future proofed technical knowledge, have never been more sought after by employers. 

People who are stepping into their first career or resetting their current one, are now in a world which is connected by super-fast communications, Artificial Intelligence, Advanced Manufacturing and self-learning. 

This is an exciting time for technical and academic learning, professional development and re-skilling with the advancement and reforms of UK technical education.  Apprenticeships are now available in areas such as Construction Design and Build, Aerospace Software Development, Artificial Intelligence Management and Advanced Crop Technology, offering those choosing a career pathway the most diverse array of possibilities ever seen in the last 25 years. 

The choice of ‘Where in the world do you want to be tomorrow?’ is really down to how far in the world do you want to go, the choice is infinite. Shoot for the moon.

Best of Luck,

Tom, Director of Apprenticeships, NOCN

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