Name: Joe Downing
Programme: BA Level 3
In my current role as an apprentice, I recognised there was need to ensure that all apprentices across the business felt supported as a whole and had a commonplace to discuss matters whilst completing their apprenticeship. To verify this was an issue I made contact with a colleague to discuss the problem and suggest a resolution. I decided that the best solution would be to create an apprentice network throughout the business.
I tested my idea via a tele-kit inviting new apprentice colleagues to take part. This helped me to gauge the level of interest in an apprentice network. The interest was high, so I sought management approval to dispatch an expression of interest, for colleagues to join a project group, designed to raise the profile of our apprentice network.
To build the profile I orchestrated a launch day with the help of the group. I delegated the organisation of the day against colleague availability, considering their diverse sets of skills and ensuring everyone was aware of their roles. I held regular meetings to check colleagues understanding of what needed to be done and assess the team’s progress, encouraging collaboration through the sharing of good practices and information. The day was a success and I received positive feedback from the attendees.
Following this I’ve appointed site leads to take responsibility for supporting apprentices in each office. I have further organised three more network days, created a mailbox for any queries, created our own site on the intranet and I’m now in discussions with a senior colleague who is interested in sponsoring us.
Once I’d finished my apprenticeship, I decided I was ready to start looking for promotion. As I’d had such a positive experience within the department I wanted to stay here. Luckily an advert for a role within my current team had just gone out, I was keen on staying within the team and they wanted to keep me so I sent in an application. The competition was high, 50 applications were received. I was shortlisted for interview. After my interview I was offered the post.
Since gaining the promotion within my team I have taken on a lot more responsibilities such as task management, leading and reporting areas of work, represented, and managed my division’s requirements for departmental projects. I have received a lot of praise for how well I’ve settled into my new roles and responsibilities. I use the skills learnt from my apprenticeship on a daily basis within the office. To think that less than 2 years ago I’d never set foot in an office and now I’m providing support and guidance to newbies truly is a credit to the department and my assessor.
What have you done previously (work/education/voluntary work/traineeship etc.)?
School, College, Part time work in a pub kitchen.
How long had you been looking for work? What challenges did you have in looking for work?
I was looking to start an apprenticeship as soon as I finished college. For me college was a bit of a panicked choice, I wasn’t ready to leave school and make adult decisions yet. The one thing I was clear on was that I didn’t want to go to sixth form. Once I’d finished college I met a crossroads where I didn’t want to go to University but a lot of the jobs I wanted to do linked to my qualification required a degree. Therefore, I decided to find an apprenticeship and pursue a career that way. Once I had decided to find an apprenticeship I didn’t face too many challenges, at first I went through an agency which set me up with interviews but the offers I received weren’t plausible for somebody with my capabilities. That’s when I stumbled upon civil service apprenticeships… very competitive wages, challenging and engaging work with plenty of room for progression. I applied unconfidently expecting the competition to be far too high for me, to my surprise I was offered an interview 3 weeks later. I was quietly confident with my performance at the interview but didn’t want to let on to this as I still didn’t think I had what it takes to beat my competition. 3 months passed and I was sure they’d just forgotten to send me the dreaded you’ve been unsuccessful email but then I got a call from an unfamiliar voice explaining I had been successful and there had been a delay in processing the results.
How has the course gone so far/how was the course? What was the best part?
I’ve enjoyed the course thoroughly; it really has helped me to build experience and confidence within the workplace. My favourite part were definitely the spoken interviews, I felt they were a new and refreshing way of showing knowledge.
What have/did you learn?
Too many things to list but to keep it short, I have learned advanced IT skills and data handling skills, health and safety within an office, how to professionally organise events and how to communicate and engage with customers.
What kind of tasks did/do you complete? How have you applied what you have learned into the workplace?
My main work area is managing, monitoring and analysing a large data set. I’ve used many of the skills learnt on my course in this role, from the legalities of managing data to how to use excel to manipulate the data.
What’s the biggest change you have noticed in yourself since commencing the programme?
Maturity. I’ve gone from a young person to a young adult.
Would you progress to next level/other training? Would you recommend an Capita course to others? Do you feel you have been supported by your Talent Coach/Trainer/Employer?
Yes, yes and definitely yes.