Meet Amy, a business admin apprentice working at Mansfield District Council. Amy loves animals and after studying animal care at college for a short time, she decided to leave to be able to take on an apprenticeship in order to earn a wage, which would eventually pay for driving lessons and her very own car!
Here we take a look at Amy’s drive for success…
We have been supporting Amy since her apprenticeship journey began in April 2014, when she started her business administration apprenticeship at Ashfield District Council (ADC). She has progressed through her apprenticeship and now works at Mansfield District Council (MDC) in the housing department.
Before starting on her business administration apprenticeship, Amy was studying an animal care course at college, but she decided she wanted to gain employment so that she could afford to pay for driving lessons. Not wanting to give up studying, Amy thought an apprenticeship would be ideally suited to her because she could continue to study, as well as earning a weekly wage.
However, due to Amy’s specific interest in animal care, she struggled to find a placement near to her home. Because money was a big factor in Amy’s decision making process, she realised that animal care couldn’t be a feasible career for her at this time. Therefore, Amy decided to change paths, “I’m interested in business, and have been since I studied it for my GCSEs” said Amy. As a result, Amy started searching for business administration apprenticeships on the National Apprenticeship Service website. It was here that she found the vacancy at her local council, which was offered through Vision Apprentices.
After only studying animal care in the past, the recruitment process was different to anything Amy had ever done before “it was a bit abnormal” remembers Amy. But she was quickly put at ease by the Vision Apprentices team, who worked with Amy to prepare her for her first interview: “I was nervous, but I had Vision Apprentices sat with me, it was like I was going into my interview with ‘back up’ and someone on my side.”
Amy’s confidence shined through, and she was offered the position at Ashfield District Council, Amy comments “the housing department was a good department to work in as my first ever role because it was a very interesting place to work.” Here at Vision Apprentices, we ensure that everyone, no matter how little previous experience they have, is fully supported throughout their apprenticeship, and they get the training they need. Amy said: “the support available was great, especially for someone like me who had never done admin before.”
The opportunity at Ashfield came to an end, “the prospect of not being able to continue my apprenticeship was a little worrying, but you couldn’t fault the support from Vision Apprentices” said Amy. We worked closely with Amy to help maximise her prospects. It was also important for both Amy and us to make sure a new placement would suit her needs.
Amy had the opportunity to apply for a place at MDC, again working in the housing department. Amy’s experience at ADC really helped her with the interview stage for MDC, “working at Ashfield, I found skills I didn’t think I had, and I could use these skills in the interview, and draw upon my previous experience.” As a result, Amy was offered the position at the council. “It was a straight transfer, I didn’t have to wait” commented Amy, “my apprenticeship literally carried straight over, there was no loss of earnings or anything – it was great.”
Working at MDC, Amy is happy in her role, saying “it’s not just about sitting in an office behind a desk, once I was a trusted staff member, other members of staff took me out to show me their job role, which helped me with my admin role because I was able to see how I can make their job easier.”
Amy is thriving – she has passed her driving test, and is earning enough money to run her own car, “having that weekly wage really helps you along, and it’s rewarding to see what you have achieved.” Looking towards the future, Amy wants to finish her Level 3 apprenticeship, “who knows, I might even study Level 4 or progress onto a HNC” adds Amy, “my main aim is just to stay in employment – hopefully I’ll be able to stay working at the council.”
Amy’s manager, Jill Finnesey, who is the Principal Housing Officer at MDC, noted how well Amy fit into the team “since Amy has started to work with us in strategic housing she has settled into the team quickly and has made a real effort to get to know our service and her role within it. She listens to colleagues and has picked up tasks easily, and often suggests ways we can improve and do things differently.” Jill has also been impressed with Amy’s work ethic, and willingness to take on a variety of tasks to get the most out of her apprenticeship, “Amy is self-motivated, keen to progress and is making the very best of her apprenticeship. She’s also great with IT and has shown us all a few new tricks!”
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