As part of Scottish Apprenticeship week last week, we reached out to our recently graduated Modern Apprentices.
We found out how they use their newly learned skills in their day to day roles, how they overcame the challenges of Covid-19 and if they would recommend an apprenticeship to those who are looking to develop.
How do you use your skills within your role?
The apprenticeship is all about proving that you can do your job well. Some of the units I achieved really helped me use and develop my business skills. For example, the units around developing and delivering a presentation have made me more confident in creating a good structure around what I need to say.
Also, Planning and Improving Performance in a Business Environment really highlighted the benefits of planning and organising my day. This has been really useful when working in such a fast-paced team.
The units that I studied as part of my apprenticeship have all aligned very closely with my work as an Administrative Officer in the Secretariat Team, and my day to day work has given me the opportunity to improve my working knowledge of these skill sets. Prioritisation was a skill which I initially struggled with, but I have worked to improve upon as time has progressed – through practice and feedback – and whilst I continue to learn, I am happy with how I have developed.
My communication skills, a key requirement in my current role, have also come on leaps and bounds since joining, and I can personally see a difference with my confidence in communicating with internal and external stakeholders, both verbally and in writing, which I am proud of.
I have learned many skills from this apprenticeship that I use daily such as data management and communicating in a business environment. The units that you work through help you act professionally and effectively in your everyday role. Covid meant I was furloughed for a period and on return had forgot some of my training, so I spent some time getting back up to the speed.
An apprenticeship is a great thing to do as an alternative to university, at RoS they’re very supportive and give you plenty time to complete your units within working hours. Also gaining work experience while getting paid to learn is a great combination and is one unique positives of an apprenticeship.
How did you overcome the challenges of Covid-19?
I overcame the challenge of Covid through time management and communication. Structuring my day helped me to stay productive and get my job done. I also communicated when I felt I was struggling and needed help from both my team and my manager.
Communicating with my Limelight assessor and asking for regular feedback also helped to me achieve the last of my units and pass my apprenticeship.
Covid has presented many challenges to all RoS employees I am sure, and we have all had to adapt accordingly. I personally have just taken each day as it has come and tried to keep as fit as possible outside working time by going for runs and walks, I feel helps ease the mind.
My colleagues have been amazing and even just messaging and keeping in contact with them to see how they are can make their day.
One of the main challenges is not being able to have that physical contact with people in the office. We now use skype as our main form of communication. Skype allows me to still keep contact with people even though I am out of the office.
With working from home for such a long time it is great that I can keep contact with people in my team and some of the other modern apprentices. Skype also allows me to be updated by my team leader when new things are happening around when or what type of work we are doing and to help us on certain cases.
To overcome the challenges of Covid I used exercise as a way to keep myself focussed out with work. In the initial stages of lockdown, I got up early to have a session in my converted garage gym – after this I felt ready to attack the day ahead.
I could not recommend exercising enough to anyone who is struggling with the effects of lockdown.
Would you recommend an apprenticeship for personal development?
I would recommend an apprenticeship for personal development as there was points in the course that took me outside my comfort zone. Recording and presenting a presentation is something I struggled with, but with support from mentors and other apprentices I was able to complete this and ended up enjoying the process.
I would recommend the modern apprenticeship program as it’s a fantastic opportunity to gain confidence in a different environment, achieve a new qualification and improve and develop skills and it can also lead to different areas of the organisation.
I would highly recommend an apprenticeship for personal development as you are not only gaining a recognized qualification at the end of it, you get to meet new people who are in the exact same situation as you and gain new connections.
I personally have enjoyed every single minute of my apprenticeship and glad it was a success in the end. I cannot thank RoS and my colleagues enough for the support and this excellent opportunity.