Posted by on 07 November 2019

Kevin Wigmore,
Estate Patrol, Commercial Residential & Campus Services
(Level 3 Team Leader Apprenticeship)

Tell us a bit about yourself. Explain what you were doing before your apprenticeship.

My apprenticeship was the first learning I had done since leaving school.

I started work for Estate Patrol at the University of Exeter back in June 2016.  I still do the same job role as before my apprenticeship which I continued to do whilst completing my apprenticeship.

I have worked in the Security industry for over 20 years. Before my role at the University of Exeter, I worked at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital as a Security Officer for 7 years.

What made you decide to do an apprenticeship at the University of Exeter?

The Level 3 Team Leader Apprenticeship was offered to me through my manager. I had been looking at doing some sort of management training for a while and the apprenticeship looked like it was a good fit with a good qualification on completion. I attended Exeter College one day each week and my manager also allowed me some study time whilst at work.

The support offered by the University was great. The application process and sign up meeting were straightforward and I was given all the information I needed about the apprenticeship and everything was explained in full to me.

Can you give us an idea of a typical day? 

A typical day at Estate Patrol is never typical, that’s what makes it such a great job. We work on a shift pattern, so the work can be completely different on days compared to nights.

We deal with the safety and security of all our students and staff, as well as attend first aid incidents and fire alarms activations.

I could find myself working in our office, out in our patrol vehicles, or patrolling the campus on foot. Every day is different with Estate Patrol, one day we could be looking for a lost dog, the next day we could be assisting a student who requires welfare.

How do you balance studying whilst working at the same time? 

Because of the job I do, there were times when I could not get as much work done as I would have liked. This is because Estate Patrol is a response service, so our work levels can vary.

I had very good support from my line manager in managing my workload both for Estate Patrol and from my lecturer/assessor at Exeter College.

I did manage to complete all my assignments and college work on time, although sometimes it felt like there was a lot to do and that I couldn’t meet their deadlines. However, the support I had from my manager and college motivated me and into meeting the deadlines and getting my work in on time.

What is the best thing about being an apprentice? 

I have enjoyed being an apprentice.

The best thing for me is that I am gaining more knowledge to help me in the future.  I have learnt to understand people more, knowing that there may be an underlying reason for someone’s behaviour has helped me in my job role.

Understanding the reasons behind managers decisions has also given me a greater insight into management.  Hopefully, I have learnt how to become a better leader of people and how to get the best out of colleagues.

How are you supported by your team? 

During my apprenticeship, I have had to involve my colleagues in some of the practical tasks I had to complete. They were always willing to help me, from writing reviews of my work to being in videos and pictures for College.

I have always been given as much time as possible to be able to complete my coursework. The whole team have been supportive of me before, during and after completing my apprenticeship.

Why should someone consider doing an apprenticeship at the University of Exeter? 

I would defiantly recommend doing an apprenticeship through the University. I felt I have been supported by the University in doing an apprenticeship.

My top tip would be to look fully into the apprenticeship you are thinking about doing. Make sure it is something you will have an interest in as this will make it more enjoyable. Because I had an interest in the modules within the apprenticeship this made it enjoyable and fun.

I also worked with a great group of people at Exeter College and my tutor was amazing, he was so understanding and also had time to help me whenever I needed it.

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