"I chose to apply for apprenticeship with the county council because I live in a fairly remote hamlet in Derbyshire, so while my daughter was growing up I had a variety of jobs to work around her schooling and social life.
"As the prospect of her leaving to go to university loomed (which I was dreading) I realised that it actually gave me more scope to look for full-time and different sorts of work.
"I accompanied my daughter to many university open days for both civil and mechanical engineering and loved sitting in on the talks and lectures they gave, so when I saw the adverts for the civil engineering apprenticeships with Derbyshire County Council on Twitter my interest was piqued.
"I really wasn’t sure about applying in view of my age but I went to one of the apprenticeship open days and the 2 gentlemen I met there made the work sound really interesting, although I must admit I was still nervous about taking the next step. In the end I decided I had nothing to lose and I’m now really glad that I did apply!"
"I started working in the Highways section at the council, specifically traffic and safety, last September, and I have experienced many different aspects of the work so far, although there is very obviously much more to learn here.
"I like the fact that it is a mixture of office based work and also working out on site and it means that I get to see a lot of Derbyshire, which is no bad thing. As with most lines of work, once you get involved with something it is much more complicated than it would first seem.
"I am constantly amazed by the variety and complexity of the work involved - there is so much teamwork here to ensure that the road network in Derbyshire is engineered and maintained to an exceptionally high standard, with safety a paramount concern.
"My colleagues at the council have been very supportive and many have gone out of their way to be helpful, which makes for a lovely working environment. When I’ve finished my training I will be a qualified civil engineering technician. From my experience I couldn’t recommend an apprenticeship with the council enough."