What apprenticeship did you complete/ are you currently completing?
I originally joined the organisation as a facilities apprentice in 2017 as part of SopraSteria. During this time, I worked with various departments and after completion of my initial training I was then offered a role as an apprentice in Digital Learning. For this I completed an IT Technician Apprenticeship with a specialism in software provided by Firebrand.
How did you hear about this apprenticeship?
While in my last year of college, I was looking for what my next steps would be and came across the Facilities apprenticeship. A family member also mentioned they had seen it advertised in the college they worked in. It caught my attention as it was different to the other apprenticeships I had seen and also offered an extremely competitive starting salary.
What made you decide to go down the apprenticeship route?
After completing my GCSEs and A Levels I had decided that being in the classroom wasn’t the way I liked to learn. During my college course, I had the opportunity to complete a lot of practical learning of which I enjoyed thoroughly. This solidified my decision that for me, university wasn’t the route that I wanted to go down. I didn’t want to be stuck in lecture theaters as I just didn’t think that this was the learning style that benefited me the most. I was set on wanting to start my career and get in to the work environment and learn hands on. The added benefit of this was also that I could start earning my own money while learning.
Can you describe a typical day to us?
A typical day as an apprentice wasn’t much different to that of a normal member of staff. As an apprentice, you were simply able to join the organisation and develop the skills you needed for the role while carrying it out. Initially I had fewer responsibilities, but they slowly increased as I began learning the skills that I needed to carry out each of my job roles leading me to where I am today.
What part of your apprenticeship have you enjoyed the most?
The part I enjoyed the most was the ability to work with a variety of different people and teams as it enabled me to gain different skills that I may not have while working with only one department. This also helped me develop significantly as an individual as it allowed me to build on my own skills such as communication, team work and problem solving as I was put in different situations which required me to think differently to what I was use to.
What benefits have you noticed from completing an apprenticeship?
The benefits to me for completing my apprenticeship are that I’ve achieved recognised qualifications as well as gaining hands on work experience at the same time. I have continually been able to develop my skills while also earning while I’m learning. Another great benefit of going down the route of an apprenticeship is that, unlike University, there was no learning costs for me meaning that I don’t have debt or student finance to think about in the future.
Do you feel supported as part of your apprenticeship?
While completing my apprenticeship, I felt completely supported both by the providers of the training and the organisation. I was given every opportunity to be successful and my management was always prepared to allow me to do what I needed to evidence my learning and competence for my apprenticeship.
Why would you recommend it to others?
I think an apprenticeship is a great way to get yourself in to the work place and start learning hands on, it allows you the ability to get the actual experience employers want and also enables you to start earning your own money while also learning. You are able to achieve recognised qualifications allowing you to get ahead in your career compared to alternative routes.
To find out more about the range of opportunities available at our Force, visit our Careers page.