National Apprenticeships Week 2022 runs from the 7th – 13th February. The week brings together businesses and apprentices across the country to shine a light on the positive impact that apprenticeships make to individuals, businesses and the wider economy. 

At ASL our apprentices are an integral part of the business, Mandy Dunn, Head of HR, writes about apprenticeships within ASL and interviews some apprentices to find out how they are getting on.

The ASL apprenticeship courses we offer vary depending on the needs of the individual and the business, there’s a whole range of choices. We enjoy having the young perspective within the business as it supports individual and business progression though we also offer apprenticeships to existing staff as part of their development plan and to gain a recognised qualification. 

I work closely with our training providers who are currently Cambridge Regional College and GingerNut Training. We have been able to offer in excess of 30 apprenticeships to new and existing staff. Apprenticeships can help people of any age to #BuildTheFuture by reaching their career goals.

Aimee Read CIPD Level 3

Past Apprentice with Cambridge Regional College

What made you choose an apprenticeship?
I chose to work towards my CIPD Level 3 with Cambridge Regional College as I wanted to have a recognised qualification within the HR world. I had been working in HR since April 2019 and wanted to expand my knowledge further.  

How has your apprenticeship course helped you “build the future”?
The CIPD Level 3 course has helped me build for my future by being the starting point in my career. It is a well-known qualification and I feel I have just begun my journey. Since achieving my qualification, I have been promoted to HR Advisor for the business. I also think it has helped me build for the future by developing my knowledge in a variety of areas that I was either not too confident in or had not experienced yet.  

What did you enjoy most about your apprenticeship course? 
It was great to speak with other HR professionals and learn how different businesses work and handle situations. It was great to get ideas from other companies and share my ideas as well. The group I studied with were really supportive – especially when the majority of lessons were on Teams due to the pandemic.  

Would you recommend an apprenticeship to someone looking to apply?
I would definitely recommend an apprenticeship to anyone who is looking to expand or gain a qualification for the work they do. With a workplace apprenticeship, you are given hours to do your coursework and assignments in work time which means you are not working at the weekends to get assignments done after a busy week.  

Emma Roff Level 3 Digital Marketing

Current Apprentice with GingerNut Training

What made you choose an apprenticeship?
After I finished studying at sixth form and college, I was working in retail and I knew it wasn’t what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I am a creative person and wanted to find a career where I could explore my creativity and find something that I enjoy doing. 

At this point most people I knew were going to university, but I didn’t feel like it was for me. I needed to get out of the mindset that an apprenticeship was full time education and that you can be any age to do an apprenticeship. This is when I discovered marketing and looked into apprenticeship opportunities and soon joined ASL as a Digital Marketing Apprentice. 

Would you recommend an apprenticeship to someone looking to apply?
I find some people are put off with the idea of going back to college so tend to look away from apprenticeships. Not all apprenticeships involve going to college as some business uses training providers instead within the workplace. If you have a mindset of where you want to be and an apprenticeship can help you get there then I would highly recommend it, in the long run it’s such a short amount of time and goes very quickly! 

How is your apprenticeship course helping you “build the future”?
My Digital Marketing apprenticeship course is helping me build the future for both myself and ASL. It is allowing me to progress on my chosen career ladder, but also it is allowing me to improve the way ASL works by making suggestions and improvements. It is important for businesses to take on ideas from a younger perspective, especially within marketing because it is forever changing and evolving. 

How is your apprenticeship going so far?
I started my apprenticeship in May 2021, so it has nearly been a year and has gone very quickly. I have already passed 2 of my exams and have just one to go, so I am concentrating on my portfolio which consists of real work projects. I will finish my apprenticeship by July this year, if not earlier! 

James Paterson Level 3 Diploma in ICT Systems and Principles

Past Apprentice with Cambridge Regional College

What made you choose an apprenticeship?
I chose an apprenticeship because I wanted to work whilst learning. I started studying Level 3 diploma in ICT systems and principles to be able to work my way up in order to fully understand the environment I was working in. 

Name a work accomplishment that makes you proud?
I started with ASL as an apprentice workshop engineer building, I am proud that I started my career with ASL as an apprentice and was promoted to a field service engineer, I have been on the road for seven years now. 

Would you recommend an apprenticeship to someone looking to apply?
Yes, definitely. An apprenticeship will allow them to work and learn simultaneously, with the opportunity for full-time employment afterwards. 

How has your apprenticeship course helped you ‘build the future?
My apprenticeship course helped me to build the future because it has allowed me to succeed and ensure the industry is up to date with the latest technologies to help improve service to customers.  

What did you enjoy most about your apprenticeship course?
I enjoyed having the flexibility to work and learn at the same time, not needing to worry about choosing one over the other. It’s not like going to college where you have to complete assignments at home, there is time there to do it. 

Melanie Cambridge Level 2  Customer Service

Current Apprentice with Cambridge Regional College

What made you choose an apprenticeship?
I decided university wasn’t the right path for me as there is no guaranteed job at the end of the course and I was ready to go into the world of work. I also wanted to get a qualification whilst still being able to earn alongside this. Choosing an apprenticeship has offered me career progression already and will continue to offer me more opportunities.

Name a work accomplishment that makes you proud?
A work accomplishment that I am proud of is completing one year of my apprenticeship which resulted in a promotion and the opportunity to develop my knowledge on credit control. This has made me consider doing another apprenticeship in credit control.

Do you like working with a team or working alone?
I prefer working in a team because I like the encouragement and interaction with my colleagues as I feel supported by the people I work with. I enjoy the social aspect of working in a team which has allowed me to form relationships. Some aspects of my job require me to work independently and set my own deadlines which adds structure to my working day.

Would you recommend an apprenticeship to someone looking to apply?
I have recommended apprenticeships to others and have successfully referred a friend who has just started an apprenticeship in customer service administration.

To find more about ASL Apprenticeships and careers, visit our careers page.