Forces Families Jobs (FFJ) now has a new area on its website dedicated to apprenticeships – a great way to gain qualifications whilst you earn a wage – and you don’t have to be a school leaver. AFF employment & training specialist, Jenna Richardson, caught up with Sophie Willmott, senior talent acquisition advisor at Mott MacDonald, one of the FFJ employers who offer apprenticeship opportunities…

Sophie Willmott

Sophie explains: “Our apprenticeship recruitment is really growing. It’s paid, on-the- job training which results in qualifications, so it’s a great opportunity for people looking for a career change.”

How does it work?

You can find apprenticeship opportunities in many different professions, including management, engineering, hairdressing, beauty therapy, and healthcare roles to name a few.

Mott MacDonald offer apprenticeships up to degree level in a variety of subject areas including management and construction-related roles. This means you can be paid to work and study for a degree at the same time – no hefty student debt at the end of it!

Sophie adds: “There are other benefits, such as training in skills which employers are looking for, paid holidays and company benefits, progression opportunities and increased future earnings.”

Recruiting an apprentice also benefits the employer. “Homegrown talent is so important for businesses because it increases staff loyalty – ninety per cent of apprentices will stay with the company that they did their apprenticeship with,” says Sophie. “Apprentices also increase the diversity of the company, which boosts the brand and increases productivity.”

Understanding army life

All FFJ’s registered employers are signatories of the Armed Forces Covenant, meaning they understand that military life can come with additional challenges. Sophie’s organisation has mechanisms in place to support military family members: “We have a dedicated network of support, including a mentor and buddy scheme,” she explains. “We also offer agile working, so that we are able support your personal circumstances, as well as our ‘Swap Your Helmet’ group which connects all of our armed forces community colleagues and supporters of our military personnel within the business.”

For more information on apprenticeships, visit

Main photo: Mott MacDonald graduates

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