You’re hired! Could you take on an apprentice?
Katie O’Conor shares some of the reasons you should consider funding an apprentice children or youth worker in your church, as we begin the recruitment process for the next academic year.
In the years I’ve been working as the Apprenticeship Scheme Coordinator, I’ve seen apprentices do some incredible things, impacting the lives of children, young people, and families across our diocese.
This year, we are looking for four new apprentices to begin training and working in churches across the Diocese of London. I’d love your community to become part of the story.
How the scheme works
If you’re not familiar with the scheme, here are the highlights:
- Apprentices study with Ridley Online for a Higher Education Certificate in Theology, Ministry and Mission, with a focus on children, youth, and family ministry. This takes 3 years to complete.
- Apprentices are employed by the LDF, for 21 hours per week at the London Living Wage. This is broken into two parts: 5 hours of study (Mondays) and 16 hours working in the parish (spread across Tuesday-Sunday).
- Line management is done by church leaders, but the LDF supports them to do that well.
- The parish contributes £7,000/year to be part of the scheme (if money is a limiting factor, please talk to us, as extra funding is available).
If that sounds good to you, here are a few questions that will help you create a strong application and clear vision for what an apprentice will support in your church:
- Who in my parish or wider community has a passion for children/youth/family ministry?
- What is your vision for the children, youth and families of your church? How might an apprentice support that?
- What opportunities already exist that an apprentice could add to? What are the untapped possibilities they could develop?
- What do you hope having an apprentice for 3 years might do to strengthen relationships with the children, young people, and families in your community?
Who qualifies for an apprenticeship?
Often, churches approach us who are interested in the scheme but don’t have an obvious potential apprentice, and as much as we would love to have potential apprentices ready to go, sadly we don’t.
Our apprentices have previously come from diverse backgrounds, spanning a broad age range (20’s to 50’s) and have had differing amounts of volunteer experience in children and youth ministry – from over 5 years to under 6 months at the point of application. There isn’t an “ideal model” apprentice applicant.
If no one in your church is springing to mind right now, here are a couple of helpful tips:
- Pray for the right person to be made known to you.
- Tell your PCC, church, and local clergy colleagues that you’re looking for someone and see who they might suggest.
- Remember, you’re not looking for the finished article. An apprenticeship is all about investing in potential – you can’t teach passion, but you can teach skill. Passion is what we’re looking for.
If all of this sounds exciting and something that you want to be a part of then get in touch with me (Katie), to discuss next steps. The application process opens in March but it’s never too early to start thinking about these things.
If you are a potential apprenticeship applicant, or a church who is interested in funding an apprentice in your own church, get in touch at email@example.com
The last thing we want to say is a huge thank you to the Benefact Trust, who have generously supported the cost of this upcoming cohort of apprentices.
Katie is the Children’s Ministry Support worker and BLMF Apprenticeship Scheme Coordinator for the Diocese of London. She has been involved in Children and families ministry for most of the last 15 years in various forms, from volunteer to intern and degree placement student to full time children and families minister. She loves connecting with children’s minsters across London and helping the diocese think more about how we can best support children and families ministry across the diocese.
Read more from Katie O'Conor