Celebrating Apprenticeship Week

The 11th Apprenticeship Week falls between 5th – 9th March this year and Bridgend College are keen to showcase its Apprenticeship courses to young people, employers and the wider community. During the week, apprentices, employers and providers come together to celebrate the positive impact that apprenticeships can make on individuals and employers within industries and businesses alike.

Apprenticeships at the College are funded by the European Social Fund led by the Welsh Government, and there are over 60 apprenticeships courses offered and held at our Bridgend and Pencoed campuses.

Many successful careers begin with apprenticeships and employers are generally keen to support and invest in the training and re-training of their staff. Benefits for employers include developing a professional skilled workforce, thus improving productivity, and reducing business costs.

For the apprentice, some of the main benefits include gaining valuable new skills and nationally recognised qualifications as well as the opportunity to ‘earn while you learn’, with fees covered through a combination of Government funding and the employer.

Bridgend College has seen many of its apprentices successfully move on to full and part time careers, and are proud to have produced previous winners of the National Training Federation for Wales’ Apprentice of the Year two years in a row.

Last year saw Bridgend College learner Alice Slennett successfully complete her apprenticeship at the College  and go on to win the Young Apprentice Award 2017. Alice showed excellent dedication throughout and the College is proud to have been part of her progression.

More information on our apprenticeships, as well as their benefits for employers and young learners, can be found on our website here, http://www1.bridgend.ac.uk/apprenticeships/.

Case Study –  Alice Slennett

In September 2016, Alice Slennett, who currently works for the NHS, undertook the NVQ Level 3 Diploma in Business Administration at Bridgend College.

She went on to be nominated for the Young Apprentice Award 2017 and deservedly won. Alice was described as the ideal NVQ candidate.

Alice’s exceptional time management skills were exhibited throughout the course and it was successfully completed in under 8 months. This is almost half the time that most applicants typically take to complete the qualification.

Alice expressed that she did not feel that an academic education was the right choice for her, as she disliked the structure and focus of her GCSE qualifications. An NVQ course therefore was the perfect choice for Alice as the course is based mainly around coursework.

The NHS is a well known supporter of NVQ training, with it being a recognised progression path within their development structure for staff. Alice therefore felt that this NVQ course provided by the College was very accessible to her.

The NVQ has commended Alice’s high level of competency when undertaking her job as a Patient Experience Administrator.     

Alice’s enthusiasm towards the qualification is admirable and she appreciates the benefits of an apprenticeship and what it can do to aid career progression and to develop knowledge, skills and confidence within the workplace. With her confidence, eagerness and the qualification that she has gained, Alice’s career in the NHS will only go from strength to strength. This has already been demonstrated with a promotion shortly after completing the course.  

“…I’ve had a pay rise and they’ve actually put me forward to study for another qualification funded by the college…”

Since completing her apprenticeship, not only is Alice now mentoring her junior colleague in an NVQ Level 2 Diploma in Business Administration but has also decided to undertake a Level 3 Apprenticeship in Customer Service.  

We wish Alice luck in her studies and her career.

Case Study – Chloe Evans-Coburn

Chloe Evans-Coburn, a young apprentice with Bridgend College, has been working for Rhondda Cynon Taf County Council during the past year whilst studying for an Business Administration Level 3 apprenticeship.

Chloe currently works within the Adult Education Department as an Administration Assistant where her daily tasks include organising paperwork, using IT and financial systems and dealing with customers face to face, as well as via the telephone. It’s a varied role and one that requires attention to detail and a professional approach.

“…I really enjoy my job because I work with a friendly and supportive team…”

Upon leaving school at 18 and after some research, Chloe chose to follow the apprenticeship route as the prospect of earning a wage whilst studying for a qualification was enticing. Since being part of the working environment for the past year, Chloe has praised her employer for their continued support. Being an apprentice demonstrates that Chloe is a keen individual who is willing to learn. Apprenticeships therefore are generally highly recognised by employers.

“…I loved the idea of becoming an apprentice as it’s a route for progression and the company will invest in my study, training and development…”

By studying as an apprentice, Chloe has attended a number of vocational training courses that have helped her realise her future goals and career aspects. This wasn’t something that she had the confidence to do after leaving school.

Chloe has gained valuable skills, knowledge and confidence by studying for an apprenticeship and encourages anyone to follow in her footsteps.

Case Study – Liam Evans

Apprentice Liam Evans, is in his second year of study at the College and is working towards a City and Guilds Business Apprenticeship Level 3. Liam has praised his employer, Rhondda Cynon Taf County Council, for being highly supportive throughout and for giving him the opportunity to develop himself progressively.   

“…The university route didn’t appeal to me, I wanted to get hands on experience and the apprenticeship option gave me the opportunity to earn while I learn…”

Liam hopes to gain vital skills and understanding of the business workplace, from the very basics right through to in depth knowledge of data and systems. He expresses also that working towards an apprenticeship has allowed him to develop lasting working relationships and to use networking to his advantage.

On completion of his apprenticeship Liam hopes to secure a permanent position within the organisation and continue his development in the business world.

Case Study – Gabrielle Thomas

Gabby has been working at Bridgend College whilst studying for a Level 2 Diploma in Business Administration. She is currently in her second year and has a varied role as a Business Administration Apprentice.

“Studying for an apprenticeship provides me with the opportunity to progress onto a higher qualification.”

Gaining knowledge and skills within the workplace has been useful experience for Gabby, who has commended the College for their support throughout. In addition to offering helpful advice, Gabby praised staff for encouraging her to complete her work to the best of her ability and for giving her the confidence to improve herself.

By the end of Level 2, Gabby hopes to achieve a qualification in Business Administration as well as gain valuable key skills and experience. She hopes to continue working as part of the College within the business and education sector, in addition to progressing onto a Level 3 Business Administration Apprenticeship.

Good luck Gabby!