Stacey Dooley on this year’s The Nine to Five crew
Back for a second series, Stacey Dooley’s The Nine to Five shows five young people the different ways they can pursue their career dreams via apprenticeships.
Trying different jobs out can be valuable in learning important transferable skills for a chosen career. It’s something this year’s team of apprentices experienced and Stacey has given her own assessment on how they all coped with the situations they faced, from bricklaying to selling vegetables at a street market.
Louis, the hopeful flight attendant
When you have your sights set on a career in the skies, an apprenticeship where your feet are firmly on the ground may seem an unusual first step. But 16-year-old Louis, who has ambitions to join cabin crew and see the world, spent his apprenticeship time on a construction site, turning his hand to laying bricks, then showing interested buyers around a show home.
Stacey believes this was an important experience: “I’ve had a few jobs in my lifetime. Did I love them all? Absolutely not. But each one taught me values and skills that put me on track to where I am now and I am so grateful for that.”
She added: “Louis got a bit grumpy laying mortar down to sandwich bricks together and that was a stark contrast to the upbeat Louis when he was selling a show home. But the truth is, the eye that sees the precision needed to build a wall is the same eye that can spot something missing on an airline ticket. The transferable skill? Observation.
“If you can prove to the boss you’re resilient and determined to solve whatever problem is put in front of you, they’ll be much more willing to give you a glowing reference for the job you really want.”
You can read Stacey’s full assessment of Louis’ experience on The Nine to Five here.
Louisa, the potential boss
Prior to her apprenticeship, Louisa, 17, knew that whatever industry she went into, her ambition was to enter it as an employer, not an employee.
Having that degree of confidence at a young age can be admirable, but Stacey’s advice to Louisa is to appreciate the lessons learned from roles on the shop floor. This came to light when Louisa was despatched to a salad farm, but preferred a seat in the manager’s office rather than an employee role.
Stacey said: “In today’s instant age, we are far too used to immediate gratification. If you want something, it’s probably already been delivered and dropped off at your doorstep five minutes ago. But there is no such thing as a delivery career! Acquiring the skills to lead a business takes time and effort.”
Introducing Louisa to the realities of life in different industries also paid off. Stacey continued: “Master the basics, concentrate on the step in front of you and the money and status will take care of itself. Louisa talked openly about being motivated by money and Vince [boss of the salad farm] told her that getting the job done well is the first step on that road. At the end of the day, building to boss level takes time and patience.”
Read more about Louisa’s experience here.
Kieran, mastering his trade
Stacey left school after taking her GCSEs. While A-levels and a degree course can be a worthwhile route into a career for many young people, there are also many who benefit from going straight into a trade.
Kieran also knew he didn’t want to stay in education after his exams, but needed some inspiration on which trade to try.
Stacey said: “With a trade, you get to physically see the results of your hard work. There’s a hole in the roof? Fix it. There’s a drain to be unblocked? Clear it. There’s a circuit broken? Re-wire it. Now you’ve earned yourself a happy customer!”
She added: “During our work experience trip, it was pretty clear from the get-go that if Kieran didn’t like a task or an industry, he would drag himself slowly through it… However, watch Kieran learning plumbing and he’d be eagerly halfway down a drain before you knew it! Or watch Kieran getting the hang of brick laying and he’d have a wall built before your eyes in minutes!
“Kieran walked away with a range of hands-on skills and some great employer references.”
You can find out more about Kieran’s story here.
Sharif, the workplace newcomer
When The Nine to Five crew go into each job opportunity, they aren’t always working alone. Many of the tasks demonstrate the importance of teamwork, which was a big boost for 16-year-old Sharif, who had never worked before.
“A strong team can be the hand you hold whilst you dip your toe in unknown waters,” said Stacey. “Sharif found this out for himself over the course of the series. He had spent all of his time at school, at home with his mum or out with his friends, and a workplace was a completely new environment for him.
“But a key part of working together is taking strength and confidence from your peers when you most need it.”
Sharif teamed up with Louisa to sell veg at an East End market, where the pair of them found out the importance of working together, and also brought one of his skills to light.
Stacey added: “Sharif really stood out to me for his new-found ability to problem-solve when other people within the team were clashing.
“He managed to address and settle a heated argument at the salad farm and bring everyone to a middle ground over the price they were selling at on the East End market. Without Sharif, the team might still be heckling each other over a bowl of peppers!”
You can read more about Sharif’s story here.
Allina, building her self confidence
Allina, 17, saw the level of belief in her own abilities shoot up after getting involved with The Nine to Five tasks.
Stacey explained: “Before this experience, Allina often reminded herself of what she couldn’t do. She said she was so scared of making mistakes, she never put herself in the position to make them.”
But, in similar lessons to those experienced by Kieran and Sharif, Stacey found herself excelling in a new environment. In this case, the building site.
Stacey takes up the story: “She realised at that moment she was a hard grafter and she could master things she had no idea she was good at! No doubt, like us all, she made mistakes along the way… but she kept at it. Soon enough, she was fixing mistakes even her mentors didn’t spot!
“She went from being someone who spent 16 hours of her day scrolling through social media to being a young woman with two apprenticeship offers and a solid set of GCSEs. Go Allina!”
Find out more about Allina and her story here.
To see all episodes of The Nine to Five, check out BBC iPlayer.