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Business Administration and IT Apprentices

Business Administration and IT Apprentices

Business Administration Apprenticeships can be used in a wide variety of areas across Councils services.

Here are just some of the examples of the different experiences Business Administration apprentices have gained in London boroughs and the experience of an IT apprentice.

Two Business Administration Apprentices and a Customer Service Apprentice presented at our recent Apprenticeship Conference about their journey so far. Brian Kaluse from LB Southwark, Jon Cassidy from LB Havering and Laura Fisk from LB Hounslow all talked about their experiences as apprentices to a large local authority audience.

Josh Harris - Level 3 IT apprentice at LB Bexley

The main reason I wanted to undertake an apprenticeship was to gain some solid work experience in an office environment. With the economy unstable, and me just finishing my A levels, gaining work experience as well as studying for a qualification sounded like a smart idea.

When first starting in the team, it took some time to get used to an office environment. Everyone was friendly and helpful which helped me settle in relatively quickly. My manager started my work load off easy, but when she realised what I was capable of, and my preferred working style, she began to throw me in at the deep end by allocating me large and important projects from high members of staff in the Council.

I thrived on the responsibility given to me in these projects as they involved analyzing and building complex web applications and systems, something that I have always enjoyed doing. My manager had the confidence in me to give me a free reign in completing these projects, so I was able to go about them in my own way.

Most importantly however, I learnt that a career in the IT industry is something that I am interested in, and that I have the skills and mindset to go far in.

On 28 January 2011 I completed my level 2 and have been lucky enough to be offered a progression to a level 3 higher apprenticeship with the London Borough of Bexley.

Sarah Carey – Level 2 Apprentice at LB Bexley

What I like about being an Apprentice is that I am working while gaining a qualification. I like the fact people take more time to teach me things in work than they would if I was just a normal employee starting a job.

While studying towards an NVQ Level Two I will gain a qualification in Business and Administration, also while studying I have been given the opportunity to adopt to some challenging work skills for e.g. Being more confident, thriving to do well and building my career.

What I found hard was having so much expected from you and not having the support that you would if you were at school or college.

My goals for the future are to have a thriving career and one that I am content in. Also I would like a career where I am learning new things all the time.

Lauren Denning – Level 2 Apprentice at LB Bexley

If weren’t for the apprenticeship scheme at Bexley I would not have gained all the admin experience needed to apply for jobs. Here I have gained team work skills, hand on experience and people skills. I have also gained another qualification which has made me more appealable to employers.  In the near future I have goal to work up London and gain more admin skills and go on and do my NVQ level 3.

Monica Issac, Apprentice Income Officer, LB Sutton

I love the apprenticeship so far; I am still learning lots everyday. I have really friendly colleagues who also make me feel very welcome.  It’s all new to me and was hard at first but I am enjoying learning new things everyday.  If I wasn’t doing the apprenticeship I would have still been looking for jobs whilst doing work experience in the call centre at Sutton Council.  Hopefully at the end of year, I will complete my apprenticeship framework and gain permanent employment at Sutton Council within my team.

Lloyd Foster, Apprentice Income Officer, LB Sutton

I’m studying Business Administration like Monica but I’ve only been here a few weeks.  I haven’t been able to fully appreciate my new apprenticeship but so far I have enjoyed working with my new colleagues, who are all very friendly and helping me settle in with ease.  Three’s a lot of information to take in, and a few databases to get used to, but I hope to master these and become a better addition to the team.  The recruitment process was really quick and I got informed throughout the process of what was happening. If I wasn’t doing this, I would have been doing a physical labour job and applying for permanent jobs still.  Hopefully after this year, I’ll be able to become a permanent employee of Sutton Council and use all the new skills I’m learning on this apprenticeship.

Lillie Stone, Apprentice in Integrated Education Service, LB Waltham Forest

I’ve just been successful in getting a fulltime job and I’ve not quite finished my Level 2 Business Administration apprenticeship! I love working here – everything I am unsure of is answered fully and helpfully.  The recruitment process was good.  If I wasn’t here I’d be working part time in Clintons still! I’d recommend apprenticeships to anyone – you learn so much.

Larissa Campbell, Learning and Development Apprentice, LB Waltham Forest

I’m studying Business Administration in the Learning and Development team and am really enjoying it so far. I get a lot of support from my manager and team and am enjoying being at work.  I hope to get a job in my work place when I finish the apprenticeship. To anyone thinking of applying for an apprenticeship, I say go for it! It’s a great way of learning and working at the same time.

Aimee Stokes, Apprentice Receptionist, LB Waltham Forest

Finding a balance between work and study is hard but my workplace are extremely supportive.  The apprenticeship is good as it gives young people an opportunity to work and gain further education and a reference.  After this I hope to go into fulltime work and do another course on Finance.  Employers can get some really great candidates with really high work standards if they employ apprentices.

Danny Tomkins, School Data Apprentice, LB Ealing

My favourite part of the apprenticeship at Ealing was completing my level 2 and making my speech at the apprenticeship awards. The hardest thing has been changing from level 2 to level 3. It’s a big difference although it doesn’t sound like one.

I receive the utmost support from both my manager and my team. We all work very close together and they are always on hand if I need anything! Without my manager I wouldn’t be here. If I wasn’t on this apprenticeship, to be honest I think I’d still be looking for a job or signing on.  After the Level 3 apprenticeship, I’d like to stay on in my team and progress steadily. If that doesn’t happen then I’d like to move on and get a job in administration either within the council still or elsewhere.

To any young people thinking of starting an apprenticeship, I’d say GO FOR IT. You’ve got nothing to lose; Apprenticeships are some of the most effective ways of getting qualifications and jobs!  To a manager thinking of taking on an apprentice I’d say Be prepared. It’s not a walk in the park and you can’t expect your apprentice to be perfect. Be ready for anything and always remember that your apprentice is new to all of this, cut them a bit of slack!

Sanjay Chana, Strategic Procurement Apprentice, LB Ealing

I'm studying Level 3 Business Administration and a Level 2 qualification in Chartered Insitute of Purchasing and Supply - which is a specialist procurement qualification. My favourite part of the apprenticeship is working with my team and promoting the Apprenticeship Scheme at local events.  The hardest part for me is that it is hard sometimes to get support/training from my team during busy periods. I can get the support I need when it is not as busy, but at busier times it can be hard. Everybody in my team is really helpful and supportive.  If I wasn’t doing this apprenticeship, I’d probably be in university getting into loads of debt, partying hard and getting no work experience!

As part of my Apprenticeship work placement in the Strategic Procurement Team, I was sent to complete a level 2 CIPS course at London Met University. I have learnt the purchasing life cycle, fundamentals of procurement and studied the differences in procurement procedures in the private, public and third sector. The course had been highly beneficial as it was relevant to what my team do in and helped me to develop basic knowledge of what procurement do, and the processes that are followed when procuring goods, services and works.

In the first year of my Apprenticeship I completed a level 2 NVQ in Business Administration. I used my day-to-day job role as evidence to complete my assignments and show how my work placement has helped me gain a greater understanding of the Business Admin world.

Through completing my NVQ Levels 2 and 3 and my CIPS level 2 course I hope to gain the skills, knowledge and experience to step up to a position within my team by the time I have finished my Apprenticeship.

I’d recommend all councils and managers to take on an apprentice - it's a good chance to mould a young person into the skilled/experienced person you want them to be. Apprentices can only advance to a high standard if you invest the time into them. If you don’t have the time, don’t take on an apprentice as this would be a waste of your time and theirs.

Salimah Murphy, Economic Regeneration Apprentice, LB Ealing

My favourite part of the apprenticeship is the new friends I have made and help and support they give me. I have been lucky enough to work in a team around previous and current apprentices so they help me out a lot and tell me the ins and outs of being an Apprentice, which I really appreciate.

I think the hardest part is just being in a new environment. My previous jobs have been in retail, where I have been on my feet all day and constantly making contact with the public so working in an office environment has been really different. It was difficult at first but I am adjusting.

The recruitment process was brilliant. I loved the workshops as they introduced me to new people who had the same career goals as me and they made me realised my full potential in working in a team. Also, the support from the Apprenticeship Co-ordinator was brilliant. When I didn’t get the Apprenticeship the first time I applied, she encouraged me to not give up on it.

Everyone in my team is very supportive and I am growing more comfortable with them, so I can ask any questions if I feel I am not sure what to do.

If I wasn’t here, I’d most probably still be working in retail but trying to get a job like the one I am training to do now. Ultimately, I want to stay on with Ealing Council and gain a long-term job/career.

I If a manager wanted to take on an Apprentice, I’d tell them to make sure you have enough time and patience to train them correctly. If I spoke to anyone who wanted to be an Apprentice, I would tell them to make sure you are focused and willing to learn. It is an excellent experience and great for your CV!!

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