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Apprenticeships are the Business: Celebrating Partick’s Modern Apprentices

Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2018 runs from 5- 9 March. Here at Partick Housing Association, we’re using this as an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the contributions of our Modern Apprentices.

Our Modern Apprenticeship placements last two years. Throughout the first year, candidates are involved in supporting all areas of our business including Housing, Maintenance, Factoring, Finance, Corporate Services, Development, Community Projects, and IT. During the second year, there is the option to specialise in one or two of these areas.

Meet Our Apprentices

PHA currently employs three Modern Apprentices; Ayleigh Waters (A), Ellie Ferguson (E) and Lee Falconer (L). We asked them a few questions to find out more about their experiences.

(PHA’s Modern Apprentices; Lee Falconer, Ayleigh Waters and Ellie Ferguson)

Why did you decide an apprenticeship was right for you?

A: I decided to do an apprenticeship as I wanted to go straight into work from school. I felt I could only learn so much from books and wanted to get more life experience.

E: The main reason I chose to go down the apprenticeship line was that I wanted to gain experience in the working environment while learning towards a qualification.

What made you want to apply to Partick Housing Association specifically?

A: I’ve always wanted to work in a job where I could help people. When I saw the apprenticeship advertised for Partick Housing Association, I thought it would be perfect for me.

What you have got out of your apprenticeship?

L: Being a Modern Apprentice for Partick Housing Association has been extremely beneficial to me in a number of ways. The Apprenticeship has allowed me to develop my social skills; such as dealing with the public face to face and being able to do this confidently. I was able to develop my business administration skills as PHA put me through a course which helped me gain my SVQ Level 3 in Business Administration. Being a Modern Apprentice has enabled me to be a part of a working environment for the first time, and I have gained experience working both individually and as part of a team.

E: Working for PHA, I have gained two years experience rotating throughout the different departments. I have developed knowledge that I never had before working in housing. I am now very confident giving advice to our customers and can deal with enquiries for different departments. I have been given many opportunities to develop myself further. Not only have I gained a qualification in Business Administration, I now also have a qualification in Housing Maintenance too. In addition to this, I have been able to take part in all kinds of training days.

What surprised you about your apprenticeship?

L: When I started my apprenticeship I was surprised at how much work is involved behind the scenes within a housing organisation. There are lots of different teams and processes which allow the business to operate successfully. It’s great, because the experience I am gaining is so wide ranging.

A: What surprised me about it, is that not every day is the same. This keeps it interesting as I face new challenges and learn new things.

How has your role shaped you into the professionals you are now?

A: The apprenticeship has helped develop me in ways I never thought it would. I am more confident and I like to challenge myself more. I feel that with the experience I have gained from the apprenticeship I can really help improve other peoples’ lives.

What advice you would give to others considering a similar role

E: I would recommend to anyone leaving school and worried about what they are going to do, to definitely look into an apprenticeship. There are lots of different kinds out there, so you can find one that suits you and what you want to do. The opportunities given to you will be very valuable and the experience you could gain is something that you will always have in the future. Work experience is something employers continuously look for and an apprenticeship is the best way you can get it.

L: I would highly recommend an apprenticeship to anyone who is interested in business administration as it benefits you in so many ways. It gives you new challenges to face and there are training opportunities available for your own personal development.

A: If someone asked me if they should apply for apprenticeship, I would say go for it!! Give it a try! If you are considering applying to a housing association – it’s so varied, there will always be something that interests you.

L: There’s nothing to lose and a lot to gain!

PHA’s Corporate Services Manager, Jac McCutcheon said “The Modern Apprenticeship scheme has proved to be valuable to both our organisation and the individuals involved. By offering a rotation around the different teams, we provide maximum exposure to various roles and tasks within the Association.

We couldn’t be more pleased with how well Ayleigh, Ellie and Lee are doing. All three are very hard working, professional and a credit to themselves. We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the apprenticeship scheme to other employers and prospective applicants. It’s a great way to offer work-based learning for individuals looking to get qualified to develop their careers”.

Apprentices are employed across Scotland in a wide range of jobs in sectors including engineering, construction, financial and business services, health and social care, digital technology, tourism and food and drink. At PHA, we are not currently advertising any Modern Apprenticeship roles – but keep an eye on our website and social media where we will share opportunities as they become available.

Find out more about Scottish Apprenticeships at www.apprenticeships.scot.

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