There are many common misconceptions when it comes to apprenticeships, from the age and experience of people who undertake them to the subjects on offer, but in short apprenticeships can be a great option for anyone no matter what your job role.
A perfect example of this is IT Users NVQ Level 3 learner, Kevin Hughes.
Kevin, 46, works for Bridgend County Borough Council as a Cleaner Streets Officer. In his day-to-day work he deals with fly tipping, abandoned vehicles and commercial waste offences.
Kevin originally enrolled on the course as he worked with a lot of different software for his role, particularly Office 365, and wanted a better understanding of how to get the most from them.
The IT Users apprenticeship provides learners with the knowledge to develop their digital skills with a focus on common workplace systems like Microsoft Office and Google Drive.
The course covers improving productivity, understanding the potential of IT and developing personal and team effectiveness using IT.
“It appealed to me because I needed a better understanding of Office 365 tools to do my job and it would be done in my working hours not during my home life,” Kevin said.
“During the apprenticeship, I have developed a better understanding of PowerPoint, Excel and Word, and what each of them can create. I have also secured my online presence and better protected my information.
“We have started doing school presentations on recycling, as well as projects to help different housing estates recycle and dispose of refuse correctly. We use excel a lot to present the information, so I have now been able to take the lead with some of these due to the new skills I have learnt.”
The course also helped Kevin with a job interview as one of the units covered is about PowerPoint. Kevin needed to create a presentation for the interview and was able to do so with the knowledge gained. It secured him the role he has now, moving from a Waste Education and Enforcement Officer to a Cleaner Streets Officer.
During the apprenticeship, Kevin was supported by Digital Learning Practitioner Assessor, Jolene Plant.
Kevin said: “Working with Jolene was an absolute pleasure; she was so patient with me and added in extra sessions so I could catch up.
“Any resubmissions that were needed got to me as soon as they were spotted so I was able to complete units on time.
“I was given support with research and learning tools to help. This has been a fantastic learning experience for me and would recommend ACT to anyone.”
Jolene added: “I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Kevin during his qualification. It has been so lovely to see his skills developing and knowing that I had a helping hand in supporting him to achieve his end goal was wonderful.
“Kevin and I had a good working relationship, I was very honest with him when I took over as his assessor and I think he appreciated this. He always knew where he was and what needed to be done. In return, Kevin put in a lot of effort in order to achieve the end goal.
“I really enjoyed our meetings, as well as focusing on the qualification, it was also lovely to chat with Kevin about day-to-day activities and have general conversations. I will miss our regular meetings, but I wish Kevin the best of luck for the future and, hopefully, I may get the chance to work with him again.”