Administrator turned IT technician – Apprentice Success
As National Apprenticeship Week approaches Plan's Matthew Dunk explains why he thinks school leavers should consider an apprenticeship as a route to success.
Set up by the Skills Funding Agency, National Apprenticeship Week 2016 will take place between March 14th - 18th. Hundreds of events and activities will take place across England to showcase apprentices and apprentice employers.
The government has pledged to oversee 3 million apprenticeships in the next 5 years. National Apprenticeship Week 2016 is an important part of their efforts to try and achieve this aim. 2015's week of events saw a record-breaking 23,000 apprenticeship enrollments - and the goal for National Apprenticeship Week 2016 will be to beat this figure.
At Plan we are pleased to see apprenticeships re-emerge as an attractive career option and alternative to attending University for school leavers. Matthew Dunk successfully completed his apprenticeship at Plan and hasn't looked back since his decision to enroll.
"I found out about the apprenticeship through a company called Hawk Training, who arranged the apprenticeship with Plan.
My trainers were friendly and helpful, always available if I needed any help with any of the tasks they had set for me to complete."
Throughout the duration of my apprenticeship in Customer Services with Plan Insurance Brokers I learned about the way the company operates, what rights and responsibilities employees and employers have, health and safety procedures and about various unions and institutes that relate to the work I performed.
With the help of my team leader, Susie Wilson, and my Hawk trainers, Sharon and Joy, I managed to plough through all the work that was laid out for me to complete - and I even finished everything a month ahead of schedule.
Plan was very supportive with the apprenticeship, making sure that I could take time out of my work to ensure that I completed the coursework."
"I believe apprenticeships are the way forward with employing school leavers."
"It is a great way for young people to get their foot in the door and get vital work experience whilst also receiving a qualification and a wage.
With University courses becoming so costly, putting young people into thousands of pounds of debt, and a degree is not a guarantee of getting a job, I think schools should encourage more people to apply for apprenticeships.
Sadly whilst I was at school apprenticeships weren't even brought up, they pushed for everyone to apply for University courses and anyone that didn't want to go to University was pushed aside."
"After two years of working in administration I have now moved on to working as a Junior PC support technician and Developer at Plan.
My job role now involves fixing computers and any technical faults with hardware and some of the software that staff use in the day to day running of the business.
I am also learning how to assist other members of the IT team with the programming and coding of all our in house quoting software."
"If I could give one piece of advice to anyone who is leaving school - it is to consider apprenticeships."
"They come in an enormous range of what you can get a qualification in and will help with getting experience - which is vital in getting a job.
The most important thing however, is that apprenticeships open doors.
I started working as an administrator sorting paperwork and taking calls, I’m now fixing PCs and learning how to program - which can then lead onto a very successful career in the future."
Operations Director Nick Cole explains why Plan are keen to support apprenticeship and training schemes:
As an SME based on the outskirts of London, our experience of candidates who are looking for a job in conjunction with an apprenticeship scheme has been that the candidate themselves have decided that they are ready to embark on a career.
They are therefore self-motivated and have an inbuilt desire to learn new skills and take some responsibility for this - which to an employer makes the task of training an apprentice to a high standard all the more achievable.
We provide the apprentice with both time off during work hours and any technical support they need to complete their chosen NVQ course.
It is a nice thought that not only are we helping one of the millions of young people in the UK onto the career ladder, we are also benefiting from the training the apprenticeship is receiving from their course provider at no cost to the business.
To date we have offered a fully employed position to all apprentices we have taken on and many - Matthew being a perfect example - have matured, flourished and already moved on to different areas of the business.
14 of our staff members have completed Administration and Team Leadership NVQs.
This has been in conjunction with Hawk Training who undertake our training schemes here at Plan Insurance Brokers. We're proud to be able to support our staff with key additional skills to keep building on their industry knowledge.
Read More: Careers at Plan Insurance Brokers
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Follow this link if you're interested in registering for the Government's Apprenticeship Scheme.