As part of National Apprenticeship Week 2022 we’re shining the spotlight on our talented apprentices. Luke Dinsdale shares his apprenticeship journey with Ardent. Discover how he swapped his ‘Chef Hat’ for a ‘Graduate Cap’ thanks to Ardent’s support.


Q: What were you doing/studying before Ardent? 

A: Like so many students, I originally found myself on a University pathway that, at the time, left me questioning what my career would eventually look like. Having embarked on an undergraduate degree in English and Creative Writing, I made the bold decision to leave University with no clear plan or direction for my future. Following a number of years in the catering industry, the late nights and unsociable hours left me with the familiar feeling that I still hadn’t found my professional ‘fit’. Once again I found myself in a career rabbit hole which is when I discovered Ardent’s apprenticeship opportunity.


Q: Why did you decide to apply to Ardent? 

A: Having identified the Ardent and University of Chester Chartered Management Degree Apprenticeship as something that would appeal to my existing skillset, I took a deep dive into the services and solutions that Ardent provided. What I discovered was an industry-leading organisation that offered their apprentices the opportunity to be a part of nationally significant infrastructure and regeneration projects. For myself, it also provided the chance to go back to University and gain the qualifications needed to begin a rewarding career in business. I took the plunge and here I am today with a 1st class honours in Business Management, Leadership, and Marketing, thanks to the belief that Ardent had in me.


Q: What has your apprenticeship entailed, and has anything surprised you? 

A: The apprenticeship was fantastic in that it allowed me to focus any lessons learned from individual modules directly to my day-to-day work. It presented me with the opportunity to help others in the company learn how to improve various facets of the business, with a real focus on marketing & communications. This contributed heavily to the improvement of my self-confidence because I could see, in real-time, my personal development as both a marketing professional and a contributing member of the Ardent team. What surprised me the most was how supportive Ardent was in allowing me to enact the projects I had developed for University, at work. From day one, I knew Ardent would help me along the way to achieving my degree, but the lengths at which they went to provide me with the resources I needed to attain a First Class Honours exceeded all of my expectations. 


Q: How important has the support from Ardent been for your apprenticeship?

A: Without the resources and support from Ardent, I would not have been able to take as much away from the degree and opportunity as I have. Ardent has been incredible when understanding my university course needs, and giving me the time I needed to fully immerse myself in a university project; not to mention the support they have given me in carving out a career path in an SME. They worked tirelessly to create a new position based on my career aspirations of working as a marketing copywriter, supporting my career goals in conjunction with my University ones.


Q: If you could offer other hopeful apprentices one bit of advice, what would it be?

A: Listen, reflect, adapt, and put everything you have into the apprenticeship; and find your passion. There are many facets to an organisational environment, ranging from the commercial side of the business to the corporate. Whether you enjoy the nitty-gritty of the day-to-day services or the strategic planning side of things, there is something there for everyone. Take your time when you first start, learn the basics of the business, and then see where your natural skills can be best applied, this way you will love what you do. Also, an extra bit of advice, take a step back every once in a while and just look back at how far you’ve come, you’ll be surprised by how good it makes you feel!


For more information on Ardent’s apprenticeships please contact 

Back to Insights