Celebrities Who Were Apprenitces

It’s National Apprenticeship Week and to celebrate we’re going to be focusing specifically on all things earn and learn! Here’s a selection of our favourite celebrities who started their working life off as an Apprentice and grafted their way to the top – including a couple with knighthoods!

Gordon Ramsey/Jamie Oliver


An Apprenticeship is the perfect way to get to the top in the catering industry. Take these two for example, both now own a load of restaurants all over the world, feature regularly on the television, have published loads of books, and quite frankly are living the chef’s dream! Both started their careers with a catering Apprenticeship and support Apprenticeships as a fantastic route into the industry.

Stella McCartney

When your Dad’s Paul McCartney, there’s a pretty good chance he’d have some contacts in the fashion industry. However, Stella, queen of fashion, became a Tailor’s Apprentice with Saville Row as she was developing her fashion skills down in London before going on to open her own boutique. She even designed the London 2012 Olympics kit for Team GB!

Sir Ian McKellen

Even wise old Gandalf The Grey started his career as an Apprentice. Well not actually Gandalf himself but actor Sir Ian McKellen was. Sir Ian started his career with a theatre company down in Coventry years ago where he studied an Acting Apprenticeship for 3 years. You might not expect to find an Acting Apprenticeship anymore, but they are about albeit fleetingly. Eyes peeled, it served Sir Ian bloody well!

Sir Alex Ferguson

Love him or hate him, there’s no doubt you can’t not respect the man. The most decorated British football manager also started off as an Apprentice, despite it being away from football. Sir Alex worked as an apprentice tool-maker in the Govan shipyards, Glasgow. Ferguson still hails the impact it had on his career today, “It is only when you had the opportunity to have an Apprenticeship did you realise the long-term benefit. Anyone who had that experience will have appreciated the skills they learned.”. Curiously, the Govan shipyards were also where Billy Connolly learned his first trade.

Leonardo da Vinci

Even master artist Leo started as an Apprentice. Around the age of 14 (and definitely not legal anymore), da Vinci began a lengthy Apprenticeship with noted artist Andrea del Verrocchio in Florence. He learned a wide breadth of technical skills including metalworking, leather arts, carpentry, drawing, painting and sculpting. His earliest known dated work—a pen-and-ink drawing of a landscape in the Arno valley—was sketched in 1473.

At the age of 20, da Vinci qualified for membership as a master artist in Florence’s Guild of Saint Luke and established his own workshop and soon followed masterpieces such as Mona Lisa. Not bad!

So there you have it, loads of famous people started off as Apprentices and then went on to achieve huge things. In some cases, things we still talk about and visit over 600 years ago! If you fancy getting yourself an Apprenticeship and earning some money whilst getting on the job experience and training, look no further than The Sheffield College. For more info, please click here.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: