Celebrating National Apprenticeship Week: The benefits of apprenticeships
Earlier this week, we spoke about the importance of apprenticeships and the benefits they can bring to both individuals and employers. We believe apprenticeships are a fantastic way to bring people into the workplace, train (and retrain) people and help them to explore exciting new careers.
One person who knows all about the benefits of apprenticeships is our Product Specialist, Charlie Nathaniel. Joining the First Customer Contact team as a Business Administration apprentice back in 2019, Charlie has truly shaped her career and world at Bruntwood. She’s proven herself to be an invaluable colleague and we were so proud to see her win The Apprentice Academy’s ‘Business Administration Star Award’ in 2020 for the positive impact she has had on Bruntwood and her team.
We spoke to Charlie about her decision to complete an apprenticeship and how she believes they could help others.
Why did you decide to complete an apprenticeship?
Since I started college I was in two minds about what path I wanted to take, either going to university or an apprenticeship. By the second year, we had to make a decision about which route we wanted to take after college. All of my friends had decided they were going to university, however when it came to the decision I chose to go for an Apprenticeship as I felt that learning on the job and getting a qualification at the same time would be more beneficial for me.
My apprenticeship allowed me to develop good relationships at a company that has now taken me on full time since finishing my course. When I was learning about apprenticeships I was shocked by the wide variety of apprenticeships that are available today and that made me realise that I would be best learning on the job but also gaining the same qualifications I would if I went to university.
How did your tutors relate what you learned on the course to your work at Bruntwood?
The course was very Bruntwood orientated as the majority of my work was based around what I did in my role at Bruntwood and also the history of the company. The course allowed me to give many presentations on what I did at Bruntwood, the business values and all of the different sectors and roles within the company.
My final exam was based on what I could change in my job role at Bruntwood which has helped me gain confidence and learn alot about my team and job role. The apprenticeship allowed me to look at Bruntwood from all different angles and learn much more about the company I was working for.
How did what you learnt at college vs on the job differ?
Learning on the job allows you to get straight in and ask questions as you go along, and also have a team around you who have the experience to teach you how to do your job as they know best as they have done it for years. Whereas when you're in college you are taught everything you need to know about how to do the job and then it's the case of revising all of this information.
What did you learn personally while on your apprenticeship?
Personally I have gained so much knowledge on project management and how companies work. But the main benefit of completing my apprenticeship has been the confidence that I have gained, allowing me to communicate better with my team and take on more responsibilities. The apprenticeship has helped me to gain so many good relationships with my team but also with other teams across the business as I had to communicate with other colleagues. It has also given me confidence in presenting, as I had to give a lot of presentations throughout the course to my coach and team. Overall, the apprenticeship has taught me so much about business and skills you need in order to be a good colleague.
What was the best part of your apprenticeship?
I really enjoyed the tasks that were set every month for me to complete, doing my own research around Bruntwood and putting everything I had learnt together through presentations. I think overall the apprenticeship was enjoyable as I learned new things everyday which allowed me to improve in my job role.
What would you say to anyone thinking about applying for an apprenticeship?
DO IT! You won’t regret it, it's such a great way of learning and allows you to enter the world of work early. You learn so much more on the job and you will also learn a lot about life skills and responsibilities. At the end of the apprenticeship you gain the same qualification you would have if you went university and there is also a high chance that company may take you on afterwards meaning you have a job which you are already confident in as you know the company and the people within it.
Find out more about apprenticeships and their benefits for businesses and individuals alike here.