6th – 10th March is National Apprenticeship Week and many businesses are now embracing the idea of hiring younger staff and training them in a specific field.
Apprentices are hired to learn a trade from a skilled employer at introductory level. Hiring an apprentice is a great way of not only teaching new skills but encouraging people to experience different working environments, which could hopefully lead to an offer of employment and career development.
Back in October, we decided to support Apprenticeships by looking for two individuals to join our growing teams. We take opportunity and development very seriously for our staff here at LASER so hiring apprentices was the perfect way to provide that for school leavers.
In two special posts this week we are catching up with our apprentices, Becky and Charlotte to find out how they have felt during their apprenticeship and what they have learnt in the process.
Name: Becky Curd
“I found out about the apprenticeship programme through the GOV UK website. When I was at school I was always on the lookout for an apprenticeship as I always knew that I didn’t want to go to university but instead start my career. I wanted to have a job ready for when I left sixth form as at the time I was working as a sales assistant in retail in between studying for my exams.
I studied Business, ICT, English Literature and Sociology A-Levels at Mascalls Academy. They were challenging but I enjoyed them and was so glad on results day when I received an A*, A and 2 passes.
I was actively looking for apprenticeships and came across the one here at LASER just after I finished school. I have always enjoyed customer service so I applied and I’m really glad I did. I have enjoyed it so far and it has meant that I have learnt so many new skills which I know will benefit my future. I hope that I have the opportunity to progress my career at LASER when my apprenticeship finishes.”
1) When did you join LASER as an apprentice?
I joined LASER in October 2016.
2) What’s your role at LASER?
My role in Laser is a Customer Relationship Apprentice.
3) How have you found the experience of working for LASER so far?
I have found the experience of working for Laser really good. There has been lots of training, all of which has been really helpful. I have fitted in really well within my team and everyone in the office is really supportive and approachable.
4) What have been your challenges, and how have you overcome them?
One of the main challenges for me within Laser was coming to grips with the gas and electricity industry as there is so much to learn and this can be overwhelming. However I overcame this by asking my team questions and requesting more training and they were more than happy to do this.
I was also very nervous about using the phones; I was really hesitant, lacked confidence and was nervous about getting asked something that I didn’t know. However, with the support from my team, I threw myself into this and can now answer the phone confidently. If I don’t know the answer to something I know I can put the customer on hold whilst I ask someone for help.
5) What have you learnt during your time at LASER?
During my time at Laser I have learnt to be more confident in myself, realising that I know a lot more than I originally thought. I need to believe in myself more and I am gradually becoming more confident in myself. I have also learnt more about myself such as the way that I work and my strengths and weaknesses.
6) Would you recommend others do an apprenticeship?
I would definitely recommend others to do an apprenticeship. It is a great way for young people to learn new skills and to become used to a different working environment. I previously worked in retail and working for LASER has meant that I have learnt so much about working in an office. I have developed my skills as a person and you can also do this while earning a good wage.