An apprenticeship is a real job with training which would allow your daughter or son to earn while they learn, whilst gaining a nationally recognised qualification. Apprenticeships take between one and five years to complete and cover 1,500 job roles in a wide range of industries, from engineering to accountancy, public relations to veterinary nursing. Apprenticeships are now available up to degree level and beyond.

The UK Government has a whole website covering apprenticeships with the facts being them -

However one of the most useful documents is their "Parents Guide to Apprenticeships" -


Apprentice Elliot Rowley, aged 16, chose an Apprenticeship in Funeral Services:

When Elliot Rowley left Archbishop Holgate's School in York aged 16 he knew exactly what he wanted to do – enter the family business.  He thought he would just be employed as an assistant, but when the opportunity to do an Apprenticeship came up, Elliot jumped at the chance:  “I always wanted to do an Apprenticeship. I heard about them at school and I’ve got friends who are apprentices.  I just didn’t think they were available in this line of work.”


Now Elliot is an Apprentice Funeral Operative studying for a Level 2 Funeral Operations and Services Certificate at Preston College.  “I don’t actually have to go to Preston, I study online and I get help from my tutor by phone and email.  An assessor comes here and visits me in the workplace which is better.”

The course covers aspects such as interacting sensitively with clients, planning and coordinating arrangements for a funeral and how to manage a funeral service.

Elliot comments,  “Learning feels more comfortable here than it did at school – there are people to talk you through it and help you understand so it makes more sense. There might be a lot of work to do but I’m confident that I can complete it all in time.  I get a lot of support both here in the business and from the tutor at Preston College.”

With a list of tasks he is responsible for across the week, Elliot is involved in every aspect of the business – from cleaning and preparing the limousine, to dressing coffins, to helping collect bodies of the deceased and assisting in preparing them for cremation or burial, through to attending on the day of the funeral itself. He has a great sense of pride in carrying out an important role.  “I get a lot of satisfaction from building relationships with families in their time of need and taking care of small details that help to make families feel they are being looked after.”

Elliot is ambitious about his Apprenticeship,  “I’d like to progress to the Level 3 Diploma next year and then work towards a degree-level qualification after that, if it’s available.”

He already has his eye on his father’s role. His ambition is eventually to take over as Funeral Director and to continue the business and, even further down the road, to hand it over to one of his children so that Rowley & Sons will be headed up by a Rowley for generations to come


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