Apprenticeship case studies

Quotes from Isle of Wight Council employees, that have undertaken apprenticeships about their experiences:

Charles Little, Creditors Officer, Creditor Payments Team:

“I started as an apprentice on 27/10/2015 at 9:00 on a sunny Tuesday morning, eager and ready for the opportunity of working in a new environment with new people. I originally started as a Payments Team Apprentice in the Creditors Team helping the council make payment of all the invoices we receive for good and services that we procure. I learned a lot in this role, such as office etiquette and how to best work in a team. These qualities I have found invaluable and I believe they will hold me in good stead for my future career. The role of an apprentice is ideal as there is not too much expectation on yourself but at the same time you still get given the responsibility for minor tasks that contribute to the wider picture.

Also alongside work you have the chance to gain a qualification and you can use your day to day work as evidence for this. The job and qualification should work in tandem helping each other, as you gain knowledge for the qualification you become better at the job and vice-versa. This qualification is a very useful tool and can be seen as quite import to any prospecting employers.

I found myself in a very good position while completing my apprenticeship. After 4 Months in the job of an apprentice I managed to gain a promotion in the team as an assistant which is a permanent position within the team. After this I have been very fortunate again to receive another promotion to the position of Officer after 2 years in my previous position and this has allowed me to begin the next level of qualification – Business Administration Level 3.

I have now been working for the Council for nearly 3 years as after staring off an as apprentice I would not look back.”

Saffron Paine, Payments Officer, Ordering & Invoicing Team: 

“I'm really pleased I chose to go down the path of an apprenticeship in December 2015, I received various training and skills throughout my apprenticeship which allowed me to progress in my role giving me the opportunity to obtain a full time job in my team as an Administration Assistant in August 2016 and since then an opportunity to become a Payments Officer in March 2017.

I have been lucky enough to be cross trained throughout different teams in the payments section of the Isle of Wight Council which has furthered my knowledge enabling me to have a wider variation of job opportunities for the future. I have completed my Level 2 NVQ in Business Administration and am now studying my Level 3, I hope to keep progressing in the authority.

I would strongly advise looking into apprenticeships for anyone looking to further their education.”

Charlotte Heard, Business Services Officer, Schools and Learning: 

"I got support from Choices (now Island Futures) when I was looking for an apprenticeship, and had my own Adviser. It just so happened that a Business Admin apprenticeship came up in that team, which was exactly what I was looking for. So I applied, got the job and started in April 2014.

The staff were really supportive and so were the training provider. The training provider came and visited me in my workplace, set me work and carried out observations. My training consultant was always at the end of the phone or email. I got lots of experience in minuting meetings, diary management, using different Microsoft packages and meeting and greeting visitors etc.

Choices were moved to County Hall in September 2014, where I got to know a lot more people from different departments in the council. I built professional relationships with people (within the council and in schools etc), which has helped me in my job today. I felt that my confidence grew throughout my apprenticeship when it came to answering the telephone and greeting visitors. When I was close to finishing my apprenticeship in July 2015, a Business Administrator job came up in the team that were based next to Choices on Floor 4; Schools and Learning. I applied for the job and was successful, and have been here ever since. I got a promotion at the end of last year and took on some extra data work.

I felt very supported by all of the Choices team and my manager, who would sit in on my HTP meetings and would help if I was stuck with anything. I felt part of a team and learnt a lot from my colleagues. They funded my bus travel, which was really good as the apprenticeship wage is quite low. However, this didn’t put me off as I was getting a qualification, a ‘foot in the door’ and experience at the same time."

Administration Support Assistant, Adult Social Care & Community Well-being: 

“I felt that my ‘journey’ was very rewarding. It was a challenge for me but I feel like it was manageable and gave me a good routine and sense of accomplishment. This was a good ‘launching point’ for me to then get a job and continue in my career.

I felt like I had learnt a lot and had managed to understand the professional outlook and attitude I should have at work to get the work done on time. I really pushed myself to achieve this and am proud of what I had done.”

Zara Mckie, Planning Technician, Planning and Housing Services: 

“My Journey was hard but very rewarding! I was an older candidate than most but my background of pervious employment in catering was very different to the one I started with the Local Planning Authority, the whole process was made so much easier by the fact that I had full support and guidance from my team and the Principal’s in the office. I was always made time for and whenever I needed help or guidance it was given.

I would fully recommend anyone to undertake an apprenticeship and a career with the Local Planning Authority.”

Danielle Harris, Litigation and Property Team: 

“When I applied for the apprenticeship after finishing sixth form I didn’t possess the confidence that I have now acquired through the work I do, and through the responsibility I have managing case files and dealing with clients.  

I now understand the legal system and the court process thanks to my studies and my work. I would say that I am much more confident and that’s evident in how I conduct myself both professionally and personally. 

I have been really lucky to join such a supportive team. My manager and colleagues have gone down the CILEx route themselves and they understand the work that I am doing. They are willing to answer any questions that I have about the progression to be made once completing my apprenticeship.

I am almost halfway through my six-year apprenticeship and have just sat my remaining CILEx Level 3 exams. I will then look to do my Level 6 qualifications. I really enjoy civil litigation, but I have been taking the chance to explore other areas of law. I enjoyed the employment law unit which I did and have put this into practice thanks to the work we do with the HR team at the council.  

I have had the benefit of experiencing other areas of law when assisting colleagues prepare court/inquest/inquiry cases. I am therefore seeking to develop further skills and knowledge in other areas of law to not only provide additional support to the council but also provide me with greater future opportunities.

I was born and raised on the Isle of Wight. This makes a personal difference, to be able to see the island benefit from what the council does. I am glad to give back to the island through the work that I do.” 

Laura Croft, Litigation and Property Team: 

“I started with the council as a Legal Support Officer but wanted to develop myself and my role here. I undertook a secondment as a Legal Officer and really enjoyed the work that I did dealing with debt recovery and planning enforcement. When the post holder returned I discussed developing my career with my manager by starting an apprenticeship. 

I am a mum of two. When I was in my 20s I balanced work with raising my children, but now they are older I am able to devote time to pursue my dream of becoming a Chartered Legal Executive. I am currently studying for a Paralegal Apprenticeship in the council’s litigation team and will look to progress to a Chartered Legal Executive Apprenticeship when I have completed that.

Since starting my apprenticeship my 13-year-old daughter sees the books I bring home, how hard I work, and she helps me revise. That has really developed her interest in law. 

I’m really committed to this apprenticeship and the opportunities it’s opening up. I want my daughter and my son to see just what you can achieve if you put the effort in. 

Until I did my current apprenticeship I hadn’t realised just how beneficial apprenticeships are, as you get the practical experience coupled with sound knowledge from the course.

Through the flexibility that this apprenticeship offers, I feel ready to grab this opportunity with both hands and through hard work be whoever I want to be.  

Developing a professional career is something I have wanted to do for quite a few years. However, I wasn’t able give 100 per cent to it due to raising two young children, so waited until the time was right when I could. 

I will qualify as a Paralegal next year and am then aiming to become a Chartered Legal Executive in the future.”