Find your greatness with an apprenticeship - Meet Jack Downie

14th December 2017

As part of our Get up and Grow campaign we are running a “find your greatness with an apprenticeship” series which will showcase the stories of apprentices in our member local authorities from around the region.

In this episode we hear from Jack Downie who joined the Licensing team at Central Bedfordshire Council back in May 2016 just after his 18th birthday, to undertake an Advanced Apprenticeship in Business and Administration. 

Having now successfully completed it, Jack is looking forward to starting his new role as Licensing Officer and putting into practice everything he learned during his apprenticeship.  Jack tells us about his journey and how his Dad and Sister were a great inspiration.

“I first started looking for an apprenticeship during my second year of college. Things were not moving forward as I had hoped so looked for another way to expand my education. My dad was always telling me about the benefits of an apprenticeship and how I could get a qualification while gaining experience in the work place, which appealed to me - being able to learn while getting a wage. My sister joined Central Bedfordshire Council as an apprentice so was also a big inspiration.  When she finished her apprenticeship, she got a permanent job with the council and would tell me about how many opportunities there was for her and how supportive her colleagues were in helping her develop. This led me to apply for my apprenticeship in the Licensing team.

“Once I received the call offering me the apprenticeship I was over the moon but a little nervous as it would be a completely new environment for me. I started and was immediately welcomed by my team. They were the main reason I grew to love working at the Council - they were always there to help me with any questions I had about work and always offered advice for my coursework, which was an incredible help.

“My main job while an apprentice was administration, processing the different types of licences and making sure everything was up do date while speaking to different customers. This would range from making taxi plates, attending and overseeing knowledge tests, and processing temporary event licences. As I was given more and more tasks to manage and complete, my confidence increased, as I knew I was being trusted with more complex work, and was more capable than before. My work also helped me greatly with my coursework. I talked about the experiences I had in work with my assessor during ‘professional discussions’ and was able to provide examples of work that I had done which could link to the different units I had to complete.   This all contributed towards my achievement of the Business Administration qualification without having to produce too much additional work.

“It has been an amazing experience and I am looking forward to starting my new permanent position in licensing.  I am just ecstatic knowing how far I have come from those first days and that it has all resulted in me achieving my Level 3 Business Administration qualification and a full time position at Central Bedfordshire Council. I am looking forward to the future, to the many different opportunities to continue to learn and to develop my career at CBC.”

Having caught up with Jack this week Barbie Calvert, Corporate Apprenticeship Manager, for Central Bedfordshire Council said “it’s great to see our approach of employing apprentices into posts linked to existing positions paying off, both the business and the apprentices are getting real returns on our investment.”


Join our Get up and Grow campaign to raise awareness of the importance of apprenticeships to our organisations and economies and to help increase the number and uptake of apprenticeships across the region!

We are committed to helping to support the delivery of apprenticeship training; making sure that the apprenticeship levy money is spent in the most effective way. Working together is the best way to achieve this.

To share your apprenticeship stories get in touch with Emma Moore, Senior HR Advisor at the East of England LGA on / 01284 758326

Find out more about the Get up and Grow campaign at

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