Apprenticeships - Case Study

 

Habiba Khatun - working with CVS Rochdale

 

Employer's Comments

  • What made you decide to go down the apprenticeship route?

CVS Rochdale wanted to involve more young people in our organisation. Also as we are a voluntary sector infrastructure and development organisation some of our activities are unique and we often find it difficult to recruit staff with the wide range of skills needed, so it seemed that training and developing young people would potentially address this issue.

  • How did you find the process?

We found the process very easy and straight forward

  • What difference does having an apprentice make to your workforce?

We have got a better age balance, we have also got some improved computer skills within the organisation. For example we were not previously very successful with the use of Social Media, however involvement of apprentices has filled this skills gap and creating a good presence for our organisation.

  • Have you encountered any problems along the way?

No.

  • How many apprentices have you got/ what roles do they perform?

2 – Administrative.

  • Would you do it again?

Yes, we are planning to appoint a finance apprentice.

  • What advice would you give to someone thinking about employing an apprentice?

Think carefully about job design and ensure that there is a member of staff to offer guidance and support to the apprentice. When recruiting try things like work trials as part of the selection process to ensure that you have the right person for the job. Give it a go! We did and it has really improved our organisation.

  • What benefits have there been to your organisation?

We have a much better age balance, we have new skills that have been brought into the organisation particularly computer and social media skills.

  • Any other comments?

 

Employer Name: CVS Rochdale Date: 09/06/16

 

Habiba's Comments

  • Why did you want to become an apprentice?

Throughout my education, I was bombarded with the question “what do you want to be when you grow older”. Growing up, I never had a specific career I wanted to work in. Fast forward to my first year at college and I still hadn’t made up my mind about what I wanted to do. It was time to make personal statements and thinking about the courses we want to apply to for university. Although I thoroughly enjoyed studying the courses I chose at college, I didn’t want to continue studying them in university. I was unsure on what course to study at university and so I didn’t want to do a course that was a gamble for me. As I like doing a variety of things, I didn’t want to feel like I am tied to a certain job for the rest of my life. Furthermore, in the town that I live in, there aren’t many job opportunities for university graduates, where as there are lots for apprentices, which appealed to me because I didn’t want to work out of town for my first job.

  • How did you find the process of applying to become an apprentice?

I found that there weren’t any opportunities for what I was initially interested in and consequently I had to rethink what I wanted to do. Business administration had the most opportunities in my town and it seemed a good fit for the skills I possessed and the skills I needed improving on. Applying for apprenticeships with some organisations were easy yet with others too lengthy. For me, it was sufficient to apply through an organisation, have a one-to-one meeting with an advisor and allow them to pass on my CV to organisations they feel I would be interested in working within. I feel there aren’t enough opportunities with corporate organisations; with most apprenticeships in business admin being advertised for retail stores on the national minimum wage with no intention to keep the apprentices on completion of the apprenticeship.

  • What attracted you to working at CVSR?

The vacancy at CVSR appealed to me because of the assistance that CVSR provides to local voluntary organisations and the different projects and partnerships which help to improve the lives of many people across the borough of Rochdale, whom without CVSR would struggle with certain things.

  • What is your job role?

I have recently been promoted from being an Admin Apprentice to the Leadership Support Officer at our organisation. This is an exciting prospect for me as it gives me a good chance to learn new skills and gain valuable knowledge within the voluntary sector through working closely with the CEO of our organisation. Some of my duties are to liaise with organisations across the borough of Rochdale to hold meetings with the staff at CVSR; coordinate partnership meetings; create agendas and minutes held at meetings and circulate them and to provide day-to-day administrative assistance for the leadership team.

  • What do you like about being an apprentice?

I feel comfortable with the fact that as this is my first job, my employer and employees know and understand that I am still learning about my job role and the field in which I am working. Consequently, I do not hesitate to ask questions as the staff here are approachable and I understand this apprenticeship is a learning process for me. My employer allows me to take a day off for study leave every week which allows me to focus solely on the apprenticeship work.

  • What skills have you developed?

One of my duties is to create monthly reports for the leadership team and a partnership that we coordinate which has aided in developing my analytical and research skills as I have to compile pieces of research and collate them for meetings. Due to some unforeseen circumstances, I have had to adapt to different situations and undertake more work than expected. This has allowed me to be more flexible at work and take on a range of different tasks. I am more confident in trying new things as I have gone out of my comfort zone many times during my time here and have done a variety of tasks which have been asked of me.

  • What advice would you give to someone who is considering an apprenticeship?

In a society where university fees are ever increasing to unreasonable prices, I would highly recommend researching about apprenticeships and finding something that is suitable and in accordance to your skills and ambitions. You never know where your apprenticeship will take you. I never imagined I would be working directly with the CEO of our organisation and coordinating meetings between CEOs and Operation Managers across the voluntary sector within the Borough of Rochdale.

  • Any other comments?

In the famous words of Henry Ford, “If you always do what you’ve always done you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” So in response to that, I say “If you do what you’ve never done, you’ll get what you’ve never got”. Get out of your comfort zone, be independent and you’ll realise that you’ve got more to offer others than you think you do.

 

Apprentice Name: Habiba Khatun Date: 09/06/16