National Apprenticeship Week is organised by the National Apprenticeship Service. The main focus of the awareness week is to celebrate apprenticeships and the positives that are mutually gained by Employer and Employee.
NCC have an impressive record when it comes to apprentices. Working closely with the St Helen’s Chamber of Commerce, NCC have employed a number of apprentices over the last 3 years with many individuals moving onto full-time employment with the company. NCC currently have 4 full-time members of staff who had previously been apprentices.
Back in 2009 Sally Swift began her career in home learning with NCC as their very first apprentice. Sally has been proactive in her approach to expanding her responsibilities and pursuing avenues that compliment her personal development in the workplace. This was rewarded through receiving a permanent contract with NCC and now, 5 years on, being regarded as a highly valued member of the team. We asked Sally a few questions about her experiences as an apprentice.
Did you enjoy your role as an apprentice?
I loved my apprenticeship role, this gave me the chance to see different sides of the Business and work with the whole team. I gained a lot of knowledge and also enjoyed creating my portfolio in order to receive my certificates and qualifications.
How did you find your apprenticeship, what was the process like, did you have to have certain qualifications or experience, was there an interview?
I did have an interview for my apprenticeship, it was like applying for an actual full time job! At aged 15 I was very nervous for my interview as I had no experience of working in an office or working at all! Once in my interview I was made to feel very comfortable and already part of the team!
How did you find managing studies alongside working commitments?
This was simple, the company was extremely helpful giving me free time to work on my studies and time away from the office to complete any exams. My Manager is also trained in the field so it was also like having a teacher within all working hours if my assessor was ever unavailable.
What tips or advice would you give to anybody thinking of getting an apprenticeship?
Don’t think that apprentices are tea makers or someone that deals with the jobs nobody else wants to do. I started my apprenticeship with full training on how to do the big jobs and 4 years later I have had 4 different permanent job titles with a lot of responsibility. I do think it’s a real achievement to leave school and go straight into a working environment but this is also exciting! I would definitely recommend an apprenticeship!
Apprentices are valuable members of any business and the increasing popularity of this as an avenue for progression paints a positive future for apprenticeship roles. If you would like to get involved in national apprenticeship week, or find out more information about how to get started, go to www.apprenticeships.org.uk