Most people know that apprenticeships offer school leavers a great way to earn and learn but not as many people know that they also offer the chance to develop your skills as your career progresses.
Gavin Glidewell, recently graduated with a Level 5 Higher Apprenticeship in Leadership and Management. Speaking about his experiences of doing an apprenticeship to boost his chances of climbing the career ladder, he told us:
“My apprenticeship has been a really good journey. It is something I never thought I’d be doing. Originally it felt really daunting but I’ve really enjoyed learning and developing.
It took me about 18 months to complete the qualification. Throughout that time we worked to a good structure and there were clear deadlines that were useful to get things completed at the same time as doing the day job.
My tutors and managers have been brilliant at giving me the support I needed to achieve. There have been times when I needed some extra information to develop my understanding and help has always been there to guide me through.
I was a store manager when I started and I really wanted to continue my career progression with Central England Cooperative because I loved being a part of the organisation. Since completing my apprenticeship I have been promoted to be an operations manager.
If anyone has the possibility to do an apprenticeship or is willing and able to do something different to develop their skills I would say give yourself a chance, give it a go and take the opportunity.
I would give two pieces of advice to anyone thinking about or starting an apprenticeship though. Firstly, you’ve got to want to do it and secondly, make sure you plan your time to stick to deadlines to manage working and studying.”
Andrea O’Brian, Learning and Development Facilitator from Central England Co-operative explained why graduation marked such an important milestone and told us about the hidden benefits the apprenticeship programme has had for the organisation.
“It is amazing to see how proud the graduates are of their achievements. When some of them first started I don’t think they thought they would be here today. Their new found skills and qualifications have led to promotion for many of them.
“As an organisation we never imagined the apprenticeship programme would help individuals to grow their confidence as much as it has. These graduates are telling their colleagues about the positive impact it has had for them and more people now want to take part. These graduates are also supporting the lower level apprentices in the business and that support is second to none.”