In recent weeks, the Seetec Outsouce Professional Services apprenticeships team have delivered in-person workshops at two important employers, Aviation giants British Airways and leading payroll and HR solutions provider Zellis.
These workshops presented apprentices with the opportunity to share their experiences and discuss topics such as organisational culture, strategy and project management. The workshops are just one aspect of the continuing support the apprenticeship delivery team provides, to learners at different career stages.
One learner who taking her first steps in the industry is Level 3 Business Administrator Apprentice Lucy Catchpole, 22, who is about to start her third rotation at BA. Lucy described what she had already achieved since starting the apprenticeship in September: “My first rotation was on Cabin Interiors with my second being Process Automation. I didn’t think that was really my thing, but I’ve ended up really enjoying it. I’m about to move to the Wellbeing team, which will be a chance to get involved in a wider variety of things, which I’m excited about.”
Lucy also explained why she had decided to enrol on the apprenticeship in the first place: “Getting to work for British Airways was incredibly attractive to me, as it’s a huge, renowned company and one that my family have used for a long time. I had briefly worked at a smaller company and felt really isolated. In contrast, the advantage of being in a cohort of fellow apprentices is having a group of people in a similar position. It’s the best of both worlds: you get an opportunity to work in a great company but I also really enjoy the learning side that goes with it.”
Lucy’s clear sense of ambition has continued throughout the apprenticeship so far, allowing her to plan the steps that may follow: “The apprenticeship has been a great steppingstone, it can be a fast-track into the business directly and it has made me realise that I want to climb the corporate ladder within a large organisation. The apprenticeship has been the best possible insight into a professional, corporate life.”
Outside of her career, the apprenticeship has also provided Lucy with opportunities to get involved in volunteering schemes: “We recently did an abseil off of the ArcelorMittal Orbit in the Olympic Park, which is not something you get to do every day! This was a part of BA’s internal fundraising, supporting projects like Poppy Day or Comic Relief.”
Finally, Lucy mentioned how important the support from Lindsay Murray, the Apprenticeship Delivery Coach, has been: “Lindsay is such a positive character, she’s always on hand to help. She delivers the workshops, both the in-person and remote ones, really well and gives really helpful feedback on our assignments.”
Lindsay returned the compliments, speaking about all the apprentices she works with at BA: “All have been exposed to a wealth of different experiences with British Airways, gaining a real understanding of the business world and have been evidencing excellent KSBs to date.”
Meanwhile, at Zellis, Mark Rice has been an IT Manager for over ten years, working with different size teams and currently managing staff in the UK and India. He saw the opportunity to enrol on the Level 3 Team Leader apprenticeship, which is referred to within Zellis as the Make Management Count programme and decided to grasp it, as he explained:
“I firmly belive that the rewards are equal to the effort you put in, so I understood right from the start the level of investment I needed to put into the learning. I want to educate myself, better myself and put some fundamental academic information behind everything that I do within my role. There is no doubt the programme has made me a better manager- it has given me the tools I need to support my teams in the UK and India equally.”
For Mark and the other apprentices at Zellis, the in-person workshop was extraordinary, as it gave a chance for them to meet with people from across the world, with learners travelling from Ireland and India for the event: “It was a refreshing change to the normal Teams call, allowing a personal level of interaction with yourselves and other team members.”
Mark explained why the business were keen to facilitate this: “Zellis is so invested in its employees- it’s a culture that’s starting at the top- that they arranged to bring over the individuals from outside the UK. This makes it a huge life event and it was phenomenal for them to travel and experience life in another country and work environment.”
Mark further explained how the course content has directly applied to his day-to-day management responsibilities: “It’s given me an insight into our organisational culture; its now obvious to me that the culture change I had perceived over my time at the company has been driven from the top down and is therefore something I need to be aware of in dealing with my teams. One particular thing for me is that in my regular one-to-ones with all my team members, I now produce a document during and after each conversation, clearly outlining their achievements and goals. This something I have directly lifted from my learning.”
To find out more about the two apprenticeship programmes that Mark and Lucy completed, please click the relevant links below: