Our Apprentice Insights Blog shares the unique experiences of our apprentices. Hear about their views, day to day and why apprenticeships work from apprentices as well as those who manage them.
Mara is an Administration Apprentice at the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (Herts LEP)
Tell us about yourself?
I am a 43 year-old mum of two that has just finished her Business Administration apprenticeship with the Herts LEP. I enjoyed my apprenticeship immensely from the practical bit of learning on the job, to attending the college days. I would recommend doing an apprenticeship to anyone, at any age. It is a great way to learn new skills and gain a qualification while you are earning a paycheck.
Why did you choose an apprenticeship?
After working in retail for a few years, I wanted a change in my career. Ideally, I was looking for an entry-level position in Business Administration that would offer training as I had no previous experience. I realised that an apprenticeship offered all that, plus a qualification at the end. So, I went for it – it was the best decision I have made. I have now finished my apprenticeship and work full time for the LEP.
What’s your experience with Hart Learning and Development been like?
It has been a very positive experience. The tutors are very helpful and supportive. They go out of their way for their apprentices.
How has an apprenticeship changed your life?
It has changed my life by enabling me to get into the career I wanted. After I completed my apprenticeship, I was offered a permanent position with the company I was working for.
How have you managed to balance working, completing your 20% off the training and having a life outside of your apprenticeship? Has it been easy?
It has been a lot of hard work, but so worth it. I had the support of my manager and wider team by making sure 20% of my working time was dedicated to college work. Hart L&D staff and tutors were always there to offer help with assignments, tests and deadlines so I never felt like I was drowning.
What have you found most challenging?
Shortly after my apprenticeship started the global pandemic happened and we all had to adapt to a new way of working. Instead of the usual working in the office and attending college, I got to work from home and attend webinars online (while home-schooling my boys at the same time). It took some getting used to, but we all adapted. I passed my End Point Assessment with a distinction and my family are proud of me.
If you could share one piece of advice with someone thinking about doing an apprenticeship, what would it be?
Just go for it! It is a great way to learn and you are earning a paycheck at the same time.
“It was a real pleasure to be involved with Mara’s apprenticeship journey. Mara consistently demonstrated the key attributes of a successful business administration apprentice. She was pro-active, determined and organised. This helped her balance the demands of the apprenticeship, her job role and family life; all while homeschooling through lockdown.
I am so thrilled, that all her hard work paid off and the knowledge, skills and behaviours shown, have led to a permanent position with her employer and the next steps in her new career.”
Tom Harland, Apprenticeship Tutor Coach