My apprenticeship journey
22nd February 2018
In late 2015, Newable decided to provide two young people with the opportunity to complete an apprenticeship with the company. Harriet Welch talks about her experience below.
Difficulties I faced being a college leaver
In 2011, I started to study A-Levels in Business & Health and Social Care. Whilst in education, I wanted to gain work experience, I began working within hospitality and Customer Services throughout the 2 years of studying. Being an independent, dedicated student, I passed my A-Levels in 2013.
Once I completed college, I was determined to obtain a career for myself. I experienced difficulty with this. Job searching is extremely difficult and the market is increasingly competitive, especially for those just starting out. I did not want to work evening shifts, returning home at unsociable hours, sleeping throughout the day whilst everyone else was at work. The days passed by and I was not happy with my routine. I would wake up early in the morning, look outside and watch the early commuters, dressed smartly and feel a pang of envy. I always thought to myself, I wanted that to be me one day. I chose not to go to university, as I wanted to work full time. However, I continuously doubted whether I could start a career without much work experience, I always assumed I would be trapped working behind the bar in my local pub.
Then in 2015, my life changed for the better. I bumped into a lady who was handing out leaflets on my local high street. She worked for a company called In-Spire that holds work programmes, which help support hundreds of young people into jobs, volunteer placements and provide a range of training opportunities.
How I found out about an apprenticeship
In-Spire provided me with a range of support, including help to boost my CV, looking for jobs, practicing common interview questions, they helped boost my self-esteem and lastly, recommended taking on an apprenticeship.
Taking into consideration my A-Levels and the work experience I had, I started to research different apprenticeship courses and career pathways on the GOV.UK website. In-Spire supported me to draft up my cover letters and ensure my CV was a strong contender for the roles I wanted to apply for.
How the apprenticeship course has benefitted me
I decided to complete an apprenticeship because it enabled me to put my foot in the door of a company, where I could learn and grow whilst receiving an income. It was a great opportunity to complete a structured training programme, which gave me the chance to work towards another qualification I can add to my CV. It helped me gain the skills and knowledge I needed to start from the bottom, whilst working my way up the ladder and developing day by day.
An apprenticeship enabled me to put the skills I had learnt into practice. The support I received was fantastic. I had a mentor at Newable who was always on hand if I had any questions regarding the coursework. I received guidance when required from the course assessor and most of all, my team at work and management were always supportive. They have all played a very important role in helping me grow, improve and build confidence within the sector.
Current position – how I have developed in my role
Since working at Newable, I have supported in the delivery of a variety of local, regional and national programmes, working on the facilitation of loans.
In 2016, I received a promotion, and became employed by Newable and worked my way up to becoming the Lead Customer Service Representative. My experience has provided me with a great level of understanding about the challenges that customers face when submitting applications and how to provide support throughout the application process
Every day I continue to learn, develop and grow at Newable. If I did not complete the apprenticeship, I do not know where my career would be right now, things have definitely worked out for the best and this is something I continue to be grateful for.
My future career plans
With the experience, knowledge and skills I have learnt across the few years here at Newable, the next stage of development for me is to complete the Prince 2 qualification to become a Project Manager. Ideally, I would like to be able to manage my own project and have my own team but this will come with support, time and dedication.
I remain positive and look forward to the next stages in my career.