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A Day in the Life of an Apprentice: Anthony Langley

A little about me:

I attended school at The Academy of St Francis Of Assisi – and yes, I enjoyed school. I achieved at school and my grades were great, but I couldn’t decide what to do once I left, just knew that I didn’t want to stay on. I thought I wanted to go into engineering, plumbing etc and I was pretty fortunate to get an apprenticeship with an organisation quickly. They made Jacuzzis, swimming pools, saunas, steam rooms. I joined their team to do an apprenticeship in plumbing. The employer was not very organised and messed me around a lot within the role. Firstly they wanted me to do plumbing, then it was engineering. They only wanted to put me onto a course which suited the employer without asking me about what area I wished to focus on. After eight months, struggling to enjoy the role, having problems with pay and not being treated very fairly, I left and knew in my own mind that I had been put off engineering through my experience with this organisation.

My perception:

Connexions came into my school to give careers guidance to individuals but they didn’t really explain exactly what was involved when you signed up to an apprenticeship programme. Connexions stated that it was simple doing an apprenticeship compared to continuing within school. But was this the route for me???

Connexions did not explain that they are full time jobs and did not brief us in preparation for working life. After my last experience I didn’t feel that apprenticeships were for me. Then I was interviewed for the apprentice role at Interserve Learning & Employment. for Business Administrator and it was all explained clearly how it would work, what was expected of me and my role. Looking back I think it could possibly be one of the best things to happen to me!!!

Now:

I have been working in Liverpool within team Interserve Learning & Employment. for nearly six weeks. My views have certainly changed. I work with Jules Westbrook and Mark White and it has been a fantastic experience to date and I know things are only going to get better. I have learnt that if you ask questions and your employer is open to answer them it makes the role so much easier. What they expect from you and vice versa and how you fit into the organisation. I have settled into the role and am engaging with candidates of the same age as me, getting them into fixed-term employment. I continually market to others that I meet too. I have started my NVQ work and therefore learning that everything I do and ideas I come up with are discussed and I am not ignored or thought of as the “apprentice” – I am a team member. An apprenticeship is all about earning whilst you are learning and I am certainly enjoying the work and gaining knowledge. At the age of 16-18 it could be your first full time job and should be enjoyable. My first apprenticeship did not work out, and my opinion of them wasn’t great. I am really enjoying my time at Interserve Learning & Employment. and am looking forward to learning even more about what Interserve Learning & Employment. does and what different people do in different roles within the company, looking at my progression routes and hopefully moving forward within my role.

My role:

Business Administrator in the Liverpool office. I manage the Apprenticeship Vacancies website for our office which basically involves going through all the applicants’ application forms and seeing whether or not we should invite them into our offices for an interview. I have been briefed on what I am doing and what to look for. Once we invite them in, I do my utmost to ensure that each person we invite in turns up. I am in continual contact whether through a text, email, or phone call – communication is key. If I do not get a reply from them I then send a letter out to confirm their appointments. I look at the cost of which is the cheaper method of communication. I also ensure that the individuals know where we are based by sending them a letter with directions or via email, a screenshot from Google images. I have found that if we give them as much information as possible and communicate effectively I increase the traffic of individuals coming into the centre. I am also starting to get a feel for candidates after sitting in on interviews. I answer the phones so I am the first point of contact to learners and many employers. I am really keen to learn and am thriving on all information whether short meetings and updates. Considering I have only been with the organisation for 6 weeks the impact of having me on board is starting to show in the numbers of individuals being put into vacancies.

So what’s next ?

I am going to market apprenticeships to the best of my ability whether via Blackberry Messenger, Facebook, Twitter or face-to-face with my friends. Apprenticeships should be marketed by us, the apprentices, telling young people what it’s like and how we are recognised and are NOT office juniors!!! I really feel that being on the apprenticeship programme is teaching me to be involved, creative and to play an important part within the team and I would confirm to any 16-18 year old thinking about taking time to choose a career path – “Apprenticeships are the way forward to a young developing work force”!

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