Francesca Clayson is our apprentice in the Central Tenancy Management Team.
Hi Fran, could you tell us how long have you been working at the council?
I have been working for the council since July 2016.
What made you apply for an apprenticeship?
I knew I didn’t want to go to sixth-form as I didn’t really enjoy school and doing exams. I wanted to get into the working world and gain valuable experience.
What do you think you have got out of your apprenticeship so far?
I feel that I have gained a lot of experience as I deal with the public on a day to day basis. I feel as if my job role has made me more of a confident person.
I have also met a lot of new people, and been out to see resident’s in their homes. I wouldn’t have done that at sixth-form or college.
Any new skills that you’ve developed since July?
The skills I have developed is probably being able to communicate over the phone to tenants in a professional manner as before my apprenticeship I never had to do this. Also, having to confidence to speak to the public on a day to day basis.
Would you recommend the Council’s apprenticeship scheme to others?
I would recommend the council's apprenticeship scheme to anyone!
Would you ever consider doing a higher/degree level apprenticeship?
I would consider this as qualifications like this look very good on your CV.
Josie Crampton has worked as an apprentice for the events team and now works in our customer services team.
Hi Josie, thanks for talking to us. So, what made you apply to be an apprentice?
I applied for an apprenticeship because I didn’t feel ready for university. I mean, I’d love to go and experience university but I found A-Levels really difficult and I didn’t like the way of working in school.
I heard that with an apprenticeship you can work and learn side by side and it was just something which really appealed to me.
What has been your biggest highlight at the council so far?
My biggest highlight at the Council so far is being able to make friends within the workplace. People I am able to speak to and, in the future, go out for meals with and make memories. That’s what appeals to me with the council, it’s a very friendly place to work and everyone takes time out of their day to speak to you.
I also really loved working for the Christmas Market. Knowing I’d only been in the Council for 2 months and I was able to be a part of such a large event which accumulated 260,000 visitors is amazing and the team I worked with have helped me through a lot of things inside the Council and also within my personal life.
What skills have you learned during your apprenticeship?
The skills which I have developed as a result of doing my apprenticeship are a more confident attitude towards answering the telephone and also calling people on a telephone. I’ve been able to finally pass my ICT and I’m working towards doing my Maths qualification. I have also developed a range of communication and basic administrative skills.
How does an apprenticeship differ from other forms of education, such as college and sixth form?
As someone who was in sixth form before I decided to get an apprenticeship, I can confirm that an apprenticeship is completely different to school.
In school you’re still supposed to follow the rules of someone who is in year 7 or year 10 but in an apprenticeship you’re free. Of course there are rules when it comes to being in the workplace but overall, you make the decisions.
Would you recommend an apprenticeship?
I would recommend the council’s apprenticeship scheme because it is a very good way to get into work while learning at the same time. By doing this you’re able to develop your work skills, gain experience which is very useful for when you’re looking for another career later on in life and also gain qualifications.
Any words of wisdom for us?
Make sure to enjoy yourself, no matter what you get into. As an apprentice, I love my job and I know that I have an abundance of pathways which will allow me to get to where I want to go. I also know that I do have the opportunity to not only work for the Council but also do university alongside it, if I ever wanted to. When you’re in an apprenticeship the world is your oyster!
“Apprenticeships are really only for young people”
Not true! An apprentice can be any age, and this training has been undertaken by mature learners who wish to change career paths.
“Apprenticeships are not for high calibre candidates”
Many apprentices have gone on to well-paid and prestigious jobs. For example Sir Alex Ferguson, Jamie Oliver, Stella McCartney and Alan Titchmarsh were all once apprentices themselves!
“There is no job for me at the end.”
More than 95% of our apprentices went into employment once they had completed their NVQs.
“Doing an apprenticeship will prevent me from going to university later”
Not so! In fact the combination of a nationally recognised qualification and practical work experience is often an advantage when applying for higher education courses, especially if you have been able to gain some experience in the field you wish to study.