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Lesley Grant’s story

In 2012 Lesley started her apprenticeship in business administration. Working her way up the business, she’s now employed as project support officer at London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulhum and is loving her job and the environment she’s in.

Becoming an apprentice:

1. Which apprenticeship did you do?

Business administration levels 2 and 3

2. What attracted you to doing an apprenticeship within the council? 

As a resident of Hammersmith & Fulham I didn’t know much about the council so it was a huge eye opener finding out how many people work here to make the council efficient.

During your apprenticeship:

3. What were the best things about doing an apprenticeship? 

The best thing for me was working in such an amazing team with so many understanding people. They recognised my strengths and helped me work on my weaknesses.
The work we did was very fulfilling as helping and assisting local residents into new opportunities, organising job fairs and engaging with employers was very rewarding.

4. What kind of support did you get? 

My line manager and team were, and still are, very supportive. The targets set in one-to one meetings with my line manager and assessor were directed to help me complete coursework requirements and I had time set aside to focus on college work. As well as a personal mentor, my team was always willing to answer any questions so I always felt supported and well advised.

5. How did the training work? 

I attended college once a week, every Thursday. During this day we had different sessions on different subjects. The sessions would work around units of business admin and some of us had to take part in Math, English and ICT.

6. How did you balance the training and assessment work elements? Do you have any tips? 

Managing the training and work elements was not a problem for me. My advice would be to complete the coursework when they have a free moment at work and to make the most of every opportunity that is given to you.

7. What would you say were the biggest challenges and how did you overcome them? 

For me the biggest challenge was starting my first job as I lacked confidence. But my team, mentor and manager pushed me to overcome this. I now take minutes for my head of service meetings and I do talks on a stage in front of hundreds and hundreds of children, before I couldn't do that.

8. What is your proudest achievement since joining the programme?

I am proud to have helped so many people into better opportunities. People are grateful for the work that I do. I have been working for the council for five years now, covering different jobs role and working for three different teams. I really think that this incredible experience is my proudest achievement.

Going forward:

9. What advice would you give to a candidate interested in joining the scheme?

 My first advice would be: do it! It’s a fantastic opportunity to learn while earning, and not having a resulting debt due to fees. My second suggestion would be: take every opportunity as it comes to you and you will learn so much. I have been on so many training courses with H&F and I have benefited from every single one of them. I’m now asked to take minutes for my head of service after going on my minute taking course as an apprentice, I also became a first aider.

10. In what way do you think doing an apprenticeship has opened up career opportunities for you? 

I was an apprentice for two and half years. I started my level 2 apprenticeship in 2012, and then progressed on to my level 3. Now I am fully employed as project support officer, I organise jobs fairs and help with the recruitment of the apprentices. I honestly think apprenticeship can help your career progression in a great way. I was 19 years-old when I started – one day before my birthday- and I worked all my way up. If someone had told me back in 2012 that I’d be standing up and giving presentations to managers, undertaking project management and dealing with internal and external customers I wouldn’t have believed them. I now feel very confident about my future.

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