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Meet our apprentices

News publication date: 
Monday, 06 March 2017
Apprenticeships week logo

The University now has at least one apprentice in 30 departments and in 17 colleges. To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week we spoke to some of our own apprentices to ask them the reasons for choosing an apprenticeship, and what they have gained from their experience with IT Services.

Grace Parsons – HR Apprentice

Why did you choose to do an apprenticeship?

I chose to do an apprenticeship because I felt that during sixth-form I was preparing for University for the wrong reasons. I struggled at sixth-form because I learn much better by being able to do what I’m learning, and I still wanted further qualifications so an apprenticeship seemed like the perfect option.

What have you gained from your apprenticeship?

I have gained more qualifications than I originally thought I would be able to get. I have also gained so much more experience than I could have done by going to University. I have been able to become an apprenticeship ambassador and I get to go to many exciting events and meet some amazing people.

What do you plan to do next?

I hope to either to work in Human Resources in different departments in the University to learn a variety of skills by using different procedures, or to continue as an apprentice and gain more qualifications.

How will your apprenticeship help you achieve this?

My apprenticeship has set me up with the knowledge and skills to be able to have a career in Human Resources. It has also given me qualifications that enable me to move into a different career path in Business and Administration if I change my mind in the future. However, from my work in IT Services, I would definitely like to continue down the HR path.

Edward Phillipson – Information Security Apprentice

Why did you choose to do an apprenticeship?

I chose to do an apprenticeship because I find it a lot easier to learn on the job rather than from a text book. I was interested in a career in IT and wanted to start it as soon as possible.

What have you gained from your apprenticeship?

Though I have only been here for three months I have learnt a considerable amount about a rather uncommonly talked about subject – information security. I have learnt how a small dedicated team can make a huge difference, and that the consequences of not having good information security are incredibly severe. So far my computing skills have increased but it’s not just my practical skills that have seen improvement but also my soft skills such as social interactions, the ability to answer telephones, and replying to emails in the correct manner. And I’m sure there is plenty more to learn in the next few years to come.

What do you plan to do next?

Hopefully I can keep a job here, if not there is plenty of choice out there. Apprenticeship degrees have recently sprung up and look quite appealing. However, I would like to stay within the University for as long as possible and further develop my endeavours into information security.

How will your apprenticeship help you achieve this?

My apprenticeship will help me wherever I decide to go in the future. When I finish my apprenticeship I will have three years professional job experience and money in the bank. I can choose to do an apprenticeship degree and not have to pay a student loan, as well as getting up to four more years of work experience. Or if I am fortunate I can stay within the University and gain more experience as well as having all the education perks from working for the best University in the world.

Laura Wilkins – Administrative Apprentice

Why did you choose to do an apprenticeship?

I liked the idea of learning in a work environment so an apprenticeship seemed liked a good option. I was also interested in working in administration so an apprenticeship would give me the perfect opportunity to gain skills in this area.

What have you gained from your apprenticeship?

I have gained a variety of skills from observing and working with my colleagues in the Courses and Events team. I have been involved in the daily running of the office, staffed the main reception desk and helped with the Digital Humanities Summer School in both 2015 and 2016. All of this has allowed me to acquire knowledge that I will continue to use for years to come and has helped improve my communication, organisation and confidence. I have also successfully completed my Level 2 and Level 3 Diploma’s in Business Administration and been given the opportunity to represent the University at events as an Apprenticeship Ambassador which has also helped with my communication skills.

What do you plan to do next?

As I am approaching the end of my apprenticeship I am currently looking at the options available to me but I hope to stay within the University.

How will your apprenticeship help you achieve this?

I am currently trying to make the most of my final year at IT Services and am continuing to develop the skills I have learnt so that I can transfer them to whatever I do next.