Vicky Porter, 37, is studying a Level 3 Business Administrator apprenticeship while working as part of the Business and Employment Support Team at Furness College. As part of National Apprenticeship Week 2021, Vicky tells us how her apprenticeship has helped her to develop vital new skills and explains why apprenticeships are not just for school leavers.
Why did you choose an apprenticeship?
I was keen to get back into work following a career break to care for my two small children. My previous training was in the hairdressing sector, but I was keen to develop my IT skills and gain a business qualification in the hope it would open doors to new career opportunities. An apprenticeship seemed like the perfect option for me as it meant I was earning at the same time as training.
What do you love most about your apprenticeship?
I love being able to give admin support to members of my team and the wider curriculum areas at Furness College. I also love the fact that I am learning new skills while earning.
What skills have you learned or developed?
My IT skills were quite limited before, but I feel I have developed these skills immensely since starting my apprenticeship, including a better knowledge of Excel which I hadn’t used much previously. As well as this, my communication skills have developed and during the Covid-19 pandemic, using alternative methods of communication has been vital.
What is your career goal?
I would definitely like to stay in the education sector. I hope to be able to take on more responsibilities and progress to higher positions. I’m also keen to gain some higher qualifications after completing my apprenticeship.
How is an apprenticeship helping you to build your future?
I am gaining valuable skills that I can use in lots of roles. I feel I am just at the start of an exciting career path and I’m looking forward to progressing to a successful career in the education sector and the opportunities that may arise following my apprenticeship.
Who would you like to thank for helping you on your apprenticeship journey?
I am very lucky to be working with an experienced team who can share their knowledge, provide support and help me to be the best I can be. I also have an amazing coach and tutor who are guiding me towards my end point assessment. They have helped immensely and taught me lots of things about becoming a successful Business Administrator.
What are some of the most common misconceptions about apprenticeships and what would you say to challenge these stereotypes?
One misconception is that only young people can do apprenticeships – NO! Absolutely not. Anyone can do an apprenticeship regardless of their age.
I also think there’s a misconception that apprentices are not a valued member of the team, but this isn’t the case at all, as apprentices are extremely valuable to the workplace. They boost the skills of the workplace and they will benefit from all the related rights the same as any other employee.