College of Humanities
We currently employ one Apprentice in the College of Humanities Dean’s Office who is undertaking an NVQ in Business Administration. She carries out various office-based tasks, including: filing, printing, act as the first point of contact for all visitors, responding to incoming queries via our shared mailbox and assisting with the various processes we are responsible for running including sickness reporting, PDR, Honorary Fellows etc.
Having an apprentice in the Dean’s Office is invaluable, as many of the day-to-day routine tasks that we often do not have time to do are carried out by the Apprentice and it is thanks to her support that the office continues to run smoothly – we certainly notice the difference when she is not in!
I supervise our Apprentice and have a 15 minute 1:1 with her each morning to help her prioritise tasks for the day. This also gives her the opportunity to ask any questions without feeling that she is interrupting me throughout the day. Any tasks delegated by other team members are filtered through me so that I can monitor her workload and help her to manage her time effectively. I also sit in on her 6-8 weekly meetings with her NVQ Assessor to help set targets, monitor progress and provide feedback.
Our Apprentice was only required to attend College one day a week for the first 6 months of her apprenticeship and as it was always on a Thursday, we found that it was quite easy to work around, so the off-the-job training commitment had little impact on us.
The work the Apprentice does at College helps to underpin the knowledge they have already gained in the workplace but it also challenges them to think more about the impact their everyday work and decisions have which in turn, makes them a more conscientious employee.
I would encourage anyone to employ an Apprentice in their team as not only does it help to provide critical support initially, but by training the apprentice up it helps to provide resilience in the team and builds institutional knowledge. The apprentice also gains from being trained in a completely new skill, achieving a qualification whilst being paid to work and benefiting from the career opportunities that lie ahead once the apprenticeship comes to an end.