As part of National Apprenticeship Week, we asked one former and one current apprentice for their thoughts and reflections on the scheme.
Our Office Manager Hannah Smith, herself a former apprentice, interviewed Rahat Uddin, our Office Support Assistant, who is currently undertaking the programme.
Interview with Rahat Uddin
Why did you choose to do an apprenticeship in the first place? What’s your background?
The reason why I chose an apprenticeship was because I wanted to gain experience, skills and a qualification whilst working.
When I left college, I was unsure what career path I wanted to take and I realised there was no point studying something that I wasn’t passionate about. I wanted to do something that would open me up to a variety of job prospects in the future.
As a result, I looked at apprenticeships and after undertaking extensive research, I was surprised to find I was extremely interested. At first I was closed-minded but then I saw that big, established organisations provided apprenticeships which interested me further.
My first apprenticeship was at Tower Hamlets Council, working in the Customer Contact Centre, where I was dealing with parking and street cleaning queries via telephone and email whilst completing a NVQ in customer service.
How did your first apprenticeship prepare you for your current role as Office Support Assistant?
The experience I gained from my first apprenticeship was exceptionally helpful, being in an office environment, communicating and dealing with internal staff and external customers professionally, as well as gaining a NVQ qualification.
From doing the apprenticeship at Tower Hamlets Council, I realised what type of job I wanted; a role which required me to undertake a variety of duties, not one that will have me doing the same duties day in and out, one that required me to be more active.
This is your second apprenticeship, what are your reasons for doing a second apprenticeship?
The reason why I was looking to do another apprenticeship was to further enhance my skills, while gaining more experience to make myself more employable.
Working as an Office Support Assistant requires me to do different roles within the organisation as I support the operations and the finance teams. I have a variety of responsibilities in this role, from setting up IT to dealing with finance enquiries from candidates.
What support did you receive from Prospectus for your apprenticeship?
I’ve only just started my apprenticeship programme, but so far Prospectus has given me a lot of time to enable me to develop my skills. I have been able to meet with my assessor at Hawks training on a regular basis and am given the time I need to complete my coursework alongside my role as Office Support Assistant. The team are patient with me as I learn and develop and are always happy to help me. They’ve also taught me a lot of valuable skills I need in order to carry out my role and continue to help me as I progress.
Would you recommend apprenticeships to other young adults?
I would definitely recommend apprenticeships to young people as it can be an alternative to university. For example, accounting apprenticeships are available where you can do an AAT whilst working in finance and accounts. This may be a better way of becoming an accountant in comparison to going to university.
What are you looking forward to over the next year?
Over the following year I am looking to complete my business and administration NVQ as well as securing a permanent job with Prospectus.
Our Trainee Recruitment Consultant, Nazir Hossain, shares his reflections on his time on the programme.
Having recently completed an apprenticeship, I have found that this is an excellent way to gain a foothold into the working world. I decided to take the apprenticeship route because of the benefits that come with the scheme; the main benefit being that this opportunity allows you to work and study towards a nationally recognised qualification.
This apprenticeship has allowed me to acquire and develop the fundamental skills and knowledge required for my role. During my apprenticeship, I was required to communicate with a variety of customers, both internal and external. In doing so, I feel that my communication skills have improved significantly. My new role now requires me to manage client expectations when sourcing candidates, which has helped me to use my time effectively and prioritise my workload accordingly.
I would recommend anyone that is considering or has the opportunity to take the apprenticeship route to go for it. It is a brilliant way to gain an insight into how it feels to work full time whilst also studying. This allows the individual to take responsibility and find the right balance between working and studying.