As new learners begin their apprentices, we asked Megan Probert, a former apprentice at City of Wolverhampton College, what advice she would give to future learners to help with their journey.
I began my journey as an apprentice in August 2017, a month after I’d finished Sixth Form and decided that University wasn’t the route for me. I already knew the general benefits of an apprenticeship, such as earning money, gaining real-life experience in a workplace and learning/gaining a qualification, but I didn’t realise how much it would change my life!
After becoming an apprentice, I gained my Customer Service Level 2 qualification across two employers, before then completing my Business Administration Level 3 apprenticeship, 4 months earlier than predicted, in 2019. And since completing my apprenticeships, I have been working as a Legal Administrator.
I’d like to share with you my top tips for an apprentice
This would always be my number 1 tip. It’s always important to remain professional and willing to learn, but you should always be yourself and let your personality shine through what you do. Good employers appreciate diversity and want their employees to feel comfortable being themselves at work.
Make sure it’s the right apprenticeship for you.
Before undergoing an apprenticeship, it’s important to know whether it’s the right qualification and workplace for you. Every apprenticeship provider has support available to help you find what is best for you, by listening to your goals and looking at your CV. It’s vital for your mental health and wellbeing that you work in an environment that you enjoy, and this is the same for an apprenticeship. So, do your research, listen to advice and follow your dreams.
Be willing to learn and expand your knowledge.
Within an apprenticeship, you’re going to learn a vast majority of things, so it’s important to be willing to learn and listen to your tutors/colleagues/employers. Most apprenticeship qualifications include exams or end-point assessments, so it’s vital that you revise and work hard towards your goal. And remember to not give up, there is always support available if you need it!
Always remain professional.
In a workplace, remaining professional is key. Professionalism shows respect and maturity, at whatever age you’re undergoing your apprenticeship. Employers are likely to think you’re a worthy employee if you constantly strive to meet your targets and act responsibly at work.
Put your thoughts and ideas out there.
Even though you’re learning during an apprenticeship, that doesn’t mean to say you can’t use your fresh eyes to spot flaws and potential ideas. Employers appreciate when an apprentice has thought up an idea that could save the company time or money, as this shows initiative.
“You never know when a thought in your head that you didn’t put out was actually the thought that would change the world.” – Gary Vaynerchuk.
Don’t let your age stop you!
It’s a common misconception that apprenticeships are only for people aged 16-25. However, apprenticeships are available to anyone above the age of 16. Some employers prefer an older apprentice, as they believe that they will have more experience with customers/in a workplace and that they will behave more professionally (in some cases).
So, my advice is: never let age define your future path. As human beings, we learn something new each day and will continue to do so for the rest of our lives, so why not get a qualification to prove it?
Ask questions (?)
An apprenticeship is all about learning, so it’s important to ask questions if there is anything that you don’t understand or something that you want to learn more about. Both tutors and employers will appreciate your willingness to learn and expand your knowledge. It also benefits you to ask questions, as you will find it much easier to do your work and achieve your end-point assessment/exams.
You can read Megan’s experience as an Administration apprentice here
To find apprenticeship opportunities, click here