MENTION the word apprentice and you might ordinarily think it’s something just for teenagers.
But as we have demonstrated with our 100 in 100 campaign alongside Northbrook College, studying for meaningful qualifications while being in the workplace is not merely the preserve of those making their fledgeling steps on their career ladder.
Natalie Steele, 30, is just such an example, ably proving with her team leading apprenticeship studies which she has just signed up to.
Having previously gained significant retail experience prior to her present role, she believed the chance to gain additional management skills would prove an extremely valuable move with her current employer, United Merchants at Dominion Way, Rustington. The firm, which acts as financial clearing house within the building industry across the UK, has more than 70 years’ trading experience and has a particularly enlightened policy towards encouraging its dedicated team of employees. Apprentice Natalie, from Angmering, works as a financial section leader. Being especially keen to progress her career, she has also strived towards achieving a BTEC counselling skills course at Chichester University.
But she is particularly relishing the prospect of gaining further qualifications and is keenly anticipating starting her Northbrook College studies.
She said: “I think doing the apprenticeship is a great opportunity and when it came to my attention that it was possible to be placed on an apprenticeship for team leadership, our managing director was very supportive of me doing this.
“Although I’m 30 now, it’s really good to know that I can still go back and gain some additional training which will be directly relevant to my role, so I think it’s going to be good studying for the NVQ in team leadership.”
One of the best things about the course, she said, is the fact it will be entirely geared around being assessed directly in the workplace. With a range of practically-based elements to fulfil, the course aims to instil greater confidence in team leaders who are looking to inspire their colleagues. Natalie believed the college course would offer an added incentive to excel in her role.
She added: “Everyone here within our management has been very encouraging and I’ve a good team here. I have loved being here and have felt that I’ve been well supported. Though I’m only just starting my apprenticeship, I’d definitely recommend them as I don’t think you can ever know enough about your work.”
For more information, visit www.unimer.co.uk