Two apprentices working for major Essex-based employers, swapped roles with their bosses as part of National Apprenticeship week.

The week-long initiative, running from March 5 to 9, is for apprentices to gain an insight into management roles whilst shining a light on the benefits apprenticeships bring to individuals and employers.

Laura Turner, 26, from Leigh is the recruitment consultant apprentice at Seetec, she swapped with Managing Director John Baumback, who joined the organisation as a 16-year-old apprentice and has worked his way up to running the multi-million-pound business, which now employs 1,200 staff.

Mr Baumback explained: “I wouldn’t be where I am now if I wasn’t given the opportunity and wasn’t believed in. There are plenty of young people out there that, given the chance, will be tomorrow’s leaders.

“When you take on an apprentice, you mould them to the culture and ethos of your organisation. You can watch them growing in front of your eyes. Young people make such a difference to the outlook of your business – they understand how to relate and engage with younger audiences, and they have the enthusiasm and new ideas.”

During their job swap on Tuesday, Laura and John visited Southend United Football Club, where digital marketing apprentice Callum Bishop, 18 from Leigh, had swapped with his boss, head of commercial, Rhys Ellingham.

Lifelong Blues fan Callum, said: “It’s a dream come true to come to work for the club. It didn’t seem real at first, and it’s different from what I expected.

“I’ve learned a lot about writing creatively, and about organising things. I’ve also improved my video skills, but most of all I’ve learnt about being professional. I’m working to improve my skills as I hope to get a job here at the end of my apprenticeship.”

Rhys Ellingham said: “Callum was the perfect candidate for the role, giving himself the opportunity to further enhance his digital skills and gain qualifications whilst also helping the commercial department move forward and increase revenue with his social media, website and video input.”

Southend West MP Sir David Amess also attended the football club to mark the occasion and talk with the apprentices about their experience.

As part of their Job Swap day John and Laura returned to their former school, Greensward School in Hockley to speak to pupils about the opportunities apprenticeships offer.

Laura explained: “I would encourage any young person to apply for an apprenticeship, you can learn new skills and start your career on the job, as well as earn an income. You also gain confidence, professionalism, and team building skills. It opens a lot of opportunities within the workplace for a future career.”