Date: Wednesday March 6, 2019 at 11:57am
Marking the launch of the 12th National Apprenticeship Week 2019 team members from British Forces Resettlement Services share their experiences.
Harry Dean, CEO of BFRS, gives us a perspective from an employer point of view.
years with various businesses I have probably engaged 11 apprentices and whilst
in the early days I was responding to external influence to use ‘cheap labour’,
since becoming a social enterprise my motivation to use apprentices is
That said, important factors to be considered when recruiting an
apprentice, have always included:
Appearance, Academic ability, Communication skills and Attitude.
"I am now
more of the opinion that using an apprentice is two way, the apprentice must
demonstrate the basic potential to contribute to the business and help improve productivity and eventually progress within the organisation beyond basic apprentice."
other hand, many school leavers, when ‘job searching’ will be at a severe
disadvantage, especially if their grades are low, but often when you look
deeper, they all have something to offer, well many do and if handled properly
will prove to be an asset."
An organisation needs to be prepared to work
with the apprentice and develop them, evidence for NVQ modules needs to be meaningful
and relevant to their role in the organisation,. Too often apprentices are
neglected by hard pressed managers and are used for boring mundane work, it is also the responsibility of an organisation who take on an apprentice to vary the
work and manage their daily work programme.
been guilty of giving responsibility above ability without proper training,
this is negligent management and I have had to intervene, so when you employ an
apprentice it is important to train your management and staff on ‘employing an
BFRS have had
some good apprentices in the past, who have been taken on as full time
employees beyond their apprenticeships and who have made significant
contribution to our organisation.
recommend using an apprentice to any organisation, but only if they are
prepared to put the effort in as an employer"
Currently BFRS employ two young people who have gone on to complete their apprenticeships and a further two who are working towards their Level 2 Business and Administration apprenticeship. Alisha and Natasha give us a perspective from an employee point of view.
What prompted you to
take the apprentice route?
A: "I was always better at learning by
working and doing something hands-on, I studied at college for a year but
released it wasn’t for me. When BFRS offered me an apprenticeship I didn’t know
much about them, but I knew it would prepare me for the real world much
N: "I started off doing a supported internship at Cadent Gas also known as Employability. The Employability program really helped me gain knowledge of the working world. I knew I wanted to carry on learning and progressing, so I saw the apprentice job advert to BFRS and knew straight away that’s what I wanted to do. Not only do I learn new things every day, I also love my job!"
What apprenticeship are
you taking and how is that structured?
A: "I have taken 2 apprenticeships since
working at BFRS, I started with a Level 3 in Social Media and Digital Marketing
and once I graduated from that I started a Level 3 Business and Administration
which I finished January 2019. When I was studying the Level 3 in Social Media
and Digital Marketing I had to travel to Leicester at least once a month for
training days and to complete written based course work, then the rest of the
coursework is done in the office. When I studied the Level 3 in Business and
Administration it was all office based and my tutor would come in and see me
every 2 weeks."
N: "I am
currently half way through doing the Level 2 Diploma in Business Administration
but looking to progress onto level 3 after. My learning is coursework based with some basic tests in English and Maths. I also have a external tutor who comes into the office to observe my work."
What do you like best
about the apprenticeship?
A: "It prepares you for the real world.
I got used to working, paying for myself and being an adult pretty quickly. So
when all my friends were at college or university and having summer holidays, I
was working and earning my own money. Also, as I have been with BFRS for 3
years this year, it shows the company how committed I am and I am growing with
N: "Gaining knowledge and
tips to help me progress in my work. To then use that information from my study and
take it into day to day work.
Learning is progressing!"
What do you find most
A: "When I first started my
apprenticeship, I struggled with getting used to the early morning and working
life as I was used to the easy college life. I felt like I was constantly
missing out on a lot as my friends would have the summer off and I would be
working. But at the end of the day I was making money and it was worth it all
in the end."
N: "Sometimes the course work
and essays can be challenging but my tutor is super helpful."
Would you recommend an
apprentice ship to others and why?
A: 100%!! Apprenticeship are a great
way of introducing you to the big wide world, you are gaining the same
qualifications as you would in college but you are also gaining the experience
as well. If you do well, you will have the opportunity to do higher level
apprenticeships and maybe even a permeant job opportunity with the company
N: "I would defiantly
recommend an apprenticeship, you learn every day and you gain a recognised qualification after
to add to your portfolio and CV."
What do you hope to
A: "I have completed my apprenticeship. I am now looking at concentrating on my work within
the office. But hoping to do a Level 4 apprenticeship in Social Media and
Digital Marketing in the future."
N: "To keep learning, progressing and working hard! I hope to progress to a Level 3.