Hi Nicole! So, how did you become an apprentice?
I became an apprentice by regularly checking the gov.uk apprenticeship vacancy website and applying for apprenticeships. I had Saif (Business Development Consultant) and Sandy (Candidate Engagement Resourcer) supporting me. Sandy had noticed there was a business admin apprentice role available at HO which I decided to go for. The support and regular contact was brilliant and without the people at Babington, I wouldn’t have been able to be successful.
How do you cover and keep on top of 20% OFJT (Off-The-Job Training)?
I regularly check my table that I have made for tracking each task that I do which is OTJ. I complete it with the task, what I learnt and how long it took me. I do try and do 5 to 7 hours a week and I also do about 2/3 days a week of coursework. While on furlough, I have continued to work towards my 20% OTJ.
What apprenticeship work have you been completing while on Furlough?
While I have been on furlough, I have managed to complete a lot of coursework. My trainer has kept regular contact and has sent me plenty of work so I have alot to be getting on with. I have attended online webex sessions and monthly calls, so I keep getting new work set for my qualification. Alongside keeping track of OTJ. I am trying to use this time wisely so I can complete as much as my work as I can, so I am not behind when I go back to work.
What are you enjoying about your apprenticeship?
I am enjoying learning and understanding the logistics of a business. I am also enjoying getting to know people in a working environment, as its building my confidence. I am enjoying learning “working life”. I am glad I started an apprenticeship, as I feel way more prepared for adult life.
What have you learnt so far during your apprenticeship?
Every day I learn something new. I have learnt many things about Babington, and how we work with apprentices. Being at my desk every day, I have listened and taken notes on our process. Hopefully, when I do pass my apprenticeship, I will be as prepared as possible for a role in the onboarding team.
I have also learnt so many things about business that I didn’t realise at all! I love this as my dad owns his a business and I feel like I’m following his footsteps. I have nearly completed my online sessions and each one has taught me so much that I did not know before. The fact that I’m learning something new every day, keeps me interested and motivated.
What are the benefits of an apprenticeship?
Personally, I think apprenticeships are so good for young people. At work I am the youngest, it was quite nerve-racking at first, but I feel loads better. Working with adults has really made me prepared for the future and working life. I also like while doing an apprenticeship, you can focus on one subject, which I feel personally I can be more successful. Apprenticeships are a really good experience too; I can gain the skills and knowledge needed for my industry.
How are you doing apprenticeship work from home?
I regularly check my OneFile, my progress and tasks that need to be completed. To keep on top of everything, I try to plan and set myself goals every week. I find setting short term goals works better for me than long term. So, for example, I would set myself a goal of completing session 12 by the end of the week. I feel like this really works for me and I prefer it to setting a big long-term goal.
I keep in touch with my trainer and if there are any issues, I contact her, she is supportive. Same with my manager, I have had calls with both my manager and trainer, both of them have been making sure I can complete my work okay and giving any supported needed.
What support have you been given from employer and Babington?
I am so pleased with all the support I have been given by everyone. Before I had been furloughed my team and I had regular calls, keeping each other updated and just having a chat! I have been keeping in touch with my colleagues as well, it has been really nice. When I got told I was being furloughed my manager, Vic explained it so well, and I completely understood why it was happening. My trainer Vicki has been keeping in touch, we have been having a call once a month and any issues I have had, she has been so helpful. I am grateful of all the support from everyone at Babington during this time as it hard for all of us.