What is like to be an apprentice with the NEC Group?

The NEC Group has apprentices in place across its business, leisure, and entertainment venues, including the first ever ticketing apprentice working in its national ticketing agency, The Ticket Factory; the first ever arena electrician apprentices working in Resorts World Arena, and Arena Birmingham; as well as 11 apprentice chefs in the Group’s award-winning catering business, Amadeus.

Stacey, Apprentice Chef at the ICC:

“I’ve been an apprentice chef for Amadeus for just over a year. I know that support is always on hand from my mentor and my tutors at University College Birmingham when needed, so I don’t worry too much about the studying side of my apprenticeship. It has been tough at times but all the apprentices are in the same boat and that it makes me feel a lot better as I’ve made lasting friendships with them and the people I work with at the different venues.

“Everyone is so friendly and helpful even if you make a mistake they don’t judge; they show you the way and help you to improve your skills and development. When I finish this apprenticeship I’m hoping to continue on with my education and complete my level 3 qualification with Amadeus. I’d definitely recommend an apprenticeship as where else can you earn while you learn!” 

Arena Electrical Apprentice, Liam:

 "I was at college doing a Level 2 apprenticeship and was looking for electrician jobs.  However, a majority of courses were in domestic electricals.  I knew of the NEC Group for its entertainment – I’d been to many gigs at its venues, so I was really interested when they opportunity for a Level 3 Electrical Apprenticeship came up.

I’ve been working here for about six months and there is so much variety in this role.  Day to day I work in the NEC Group Arenas, dealing with the temporary mains for all events, at both the Arena Birmingham and Resorts World Arena.  We’re on hand to test the electrics of the incoming shows, ensuring the venue mains are fit for purpose and work with teams and external agencies from of the touring production. 

I attend Solihull College one day a week on a Friday. We get given a good balance allowing us to do any work for college.

I’ve had a really good time doing my apprenticeship so far. I’ve got another couple of years before I finish it when I’m fully qualified we’ll see where it takes me. Not only have I enjoyed learning a trade and working with some great colleagues, but I have had the opportunity with the NEC Group to see some of my favourite bands. I would 100% would recommend an apprenticeship role, because it gives you a clear goal and more importantly valuable experience that you just can’t learn from a book.”

Ticketing Apprentice, Melissa:

"I am currently doing the uk’s first ticketing apprenticeship. It entails working in several departments across the ticket factory. The departments I have learnt so far are the contact centre, the arenas team and currently event programming. My next team will be IT and then still to complete will be marketing, box office, client services, dispatch and finance.

My apprenticeship so far has been an amazing experience. My best highlight so far is going to London and attending the SOBOM awards with my manager and some other colleagues. Another highlight was my time with the arenas team and being able to experience working a show in the life of an event ticketing manager. I have loved the courses I have been on such as positive personal impact and handling complaints. They were extremely helpful with my learning. They always support my ideas and give me all the best experiences. They make learning fun!

I would definitely recommend doing an apprenticeship. Although frowned upon by many because of the low income, an apprenticeship is definitely the best way to get the right experience and qualifications for a long and successful career."