My apprenticeship journey
In late 2015, Newable decided to provide two young people with the opportunity to complete an apprenticeship with the company. Harriet Welch talks about her experience below.
Difficulties I faced being a college leaver
In 2011, I started to study A-Levels in Business & Health and Social Care. Whilst in education, I wanted to gain work experience, I began working within hospitality and Customer Services throughout the 2 years of studying. Being an independent, dedicated student, I passed my A-Levels in 2013.
Once I completed college, I was determined to obtain a career for myself. I experienced difficulty with this. Job searching is extremely difficult and the market is increasingly competitive, especially for those just starting out. I did not want to work evening shifts, returning home at unsociable hours, sleeping throughout the day whilst everyone else was at work. The days passed by and I was not happy with my routine. I would wake up early in the morning, look outside and watch the early commuters, dressed smartly and feel a pang of envy. I always thought to myself, I wanted that to be me one day. I chose not to go to university, as I wanted to work full time. However, I continuously doubted whether I could start a career without much work experience, I always assumed I would be trapped working behind the bar in my local pub.
Then in 2015, my life changed for the better. I bumped into a lady who was handing out leaflets on my local high street. She worked for a company called In-Spire that holds work programmes, which help support hundreds of young people into jobs, volunteer placements and provide a range of training opportunities.
How I found out about an apprenticeship
In-Spire provided me with a range of support, including help to boost my CV, looking for jobs, practicing common interview questions, they helped boost my self-esteem and lastly, recommended taking on an apprenticeship.
Taking into consideration my A-Levels and the work experience I had, I started to research different apprenticeship courses and career pathways on the GOV.UK website. In-Spire supported me to draft up my cover letters and ensure my CV was a strong contender for the roles I wanted to apply for.
How the apprenticeship course has benefitted me
I decided to complete an apprenticeship because it enabled me to put my foot in the door of a company, where I could learn and grow whilst receiving an income. It was a great opportunity to complete a structured training programme, which gave me the chance to work towards another qualification I can add to my CV. It helped me gain the skills and knowledge I needed to start from the bottom, whilst working my way up the ladder and developing day by day.
An apprenticeship enabled me to put the skills I had learnt into practice. The support I received was fantastic. I had a mentor at Newable who was always on hand if I had any questions regarding the coursework. I received guidance when required from the course assessor and most of all, my team at work and management were always supportive. They have all played a very important role in helping me grow, improve and build confidence within the sector.
Current position – how I have developed in my role
Since working at Newable, I have supported in the delivery of a variety of local, regional and national programmes, working on the facilitation of loans.
In 2016, I received a promotion, and became employed by Newable and worked my way up to becoming the Lead Customer Service Representative. My experience has provided me with a great level of understanding about the challenges that customers face when submitting applications and how to provide support throughout the application process
Every day I continue to learn, develop and grow at Newable. If I did not complete the apprenticeship, I do not know where my career would be right now, things have definitely worked out for the best and this is something I continue to be grateful for.
My future career plans
With the experience, knowledge and skills I have learnt across the few years here at Newable, the next stage of development for me is to complete the Prince 2 qualification to become a Project Manager. Ideally, I would like to be able to manage my own project and have my own team but this will come with support, time and dedication.
I remain positive and look forward to the next stages in my career.