As part of apprenticeship week, we have been speaking to our current and former apprenticeships about the benefits of apprenticeships and how they have allowed them to be where they are today. We want to show you how apprenticeships can help you build your future.
We spoke to three business admin apprentices from B-Braun; Joe Fisher, Lucy Clarkson and Farrell Campbell, about their experience of going from a full-time apprenticeship to a full-time role within the business.
Why did you choose to do an apprenticeship over the other typical routes after secondary school?
Joe – “I decided on an apprenticeship as I was bad with exams. I didn’t want to go off to university and be in a really academic environment, it’s just not for me. By doing an apprenticeship you are learning and working.”
Lucy – “I did my A-Levels and then I didn’t really look into university at all, it wasn’t for me, I wasn’t bothered, I knew I wanted an apprenticeship. After I finished my A-Levels I went straight into looking for places for an apprenticeship.
My sister had done an apprenticeship and she’d been doing really well. I guess I saw her as my role model, and it opened a door for me. It was something I was just more interested in than uni.”
Farrell – “practical and hands-on is a lot more suitable for my personality so an apprenticeship seemed the way forward for me rather than university and having to cope with the pressures that come with that.
In an apprenticeship, you can get paid whilst you learn and then figure out what you want to do at the same time. It seemed like a much better idea for me.”
What did you do day to day in your apprenticeship?
Farrell – “For me personally, with it being such a big business, the initial month was a lot of learning and researching about the business. I had a lot of meetings with different teams, learning about their roles and how they could help me. Learning processes and tasks to start understanding my role and what they would be before introducing the bigger tasks that require more responsibility.
I believe, especially at B-Braun, you need to know those areas, you are talking to people from many different departments, it’s important to know who people are and how they can help you.”
Did the apprenticeship help you build your future?
Joe – “I thought it was a good chance to find out where you might want to work towards. At the start we were on a rotation, we would do a few months in different departments to find out which area was more suited to you.”
Lucy – “I didn’t really know what I wanted to do when I left college and finished my A-Levels. I knew it was a good business so I thought if I get the role and learn about business and admin and that side, I can see what other opportunities are available.
Now I’m in a business and marketing role, I prefer the marketing side. Before Covid, a lot of us got the chance to go to events and exhibitions and out with sales reps to gain experiences where we could. Going to events gave me a taste of the marketing side and being more interactive with customers. I knew that that was the route that I wanted to take. Events are starting to happen again now so I’ll get to go to some this year.”
How did you find doing your apprenticeship in the lockdown?
Farrell – “It was a big learning curve, going forward in business it was a good opportunity to have as I’m sure we’ll see a lot more of it. I did still manage to get a good variety of new tasks and day to day jobs in my role that I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do if I wasn’t working from home. There’s always a silver lining, I have been able to experience new things that I wouldn’t of.”
Has anything surprised you about doing an apprenticeship?
Farrell – “For me, I was surprised by the freedom that we got and the ability to shape our job roles. At the start of my apprenticeship, I was asked what I wanted from it and what I would like to do. This helped me put together my job role and it’s something I’ve done in all my rotations. It was great to have the opportunity to say what I could bring to the table, it’s something that surprised me. You assume it to be the lowest level, so it was great to have my own input and make it my own. I enjoyed it and it motivated me and helped me learn more and more.”
Lucy – “When you hear about apprentices, you think I am going to be doing the coffee run and laminating. Some companies might be like that, but it wasn’t for us. Everything we did was working towards our future careers and gaining experience. They didn’t have to take us along to exhibitions, events, and visits but we were always included and encouraged to get the experiences. We have done loads of training sessions internal and external on top of our apprenticeships. When covid hit, everyone was worried about their job, but we were safe and we still got supported. I still got to do a lot of the things I was doing anyway, just virtually. When you hear about apprenticeships you don’t know what to expect but we were always treated like adults and everybody else at B-Braun.”
Have you got any advice for students leaving school and considering an apprenticeship?
Joe – “Just apply, like you would university. Apply for a few apprenticeships and go round and get a feel on your interview whether it will be for you. If you don’t apply, you don’t know. You’ve got to buy a ticket to be in the raffle.”
Lucy – “It was just as much about us knowing about the apprenticeship as well as the employers knowing about us. You are best just applying for apprenticeships and seeing where they take you.”
If you would like to find out more about National Apprenticeship Week and the opportunities available please read our article or come along to our event to meet the team and find out how to #buildyourfuture.