1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I was a Business & Administration HR Apprentice. My daily tasks included; day to day HR queries, liaising with outsourced HR services team, PA duties for directors, maintaining employee records and attending employee relations case meetings. I also assisted on several HR projects including; mentoring, family friendly and youth employability. I project lead on the Feeding Britain's Future Employability Day.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learnt several new skills and have also developed upon several existing skills. The experience has made a profound impact on my communication skills both written and verbally which is essential in the work place. I have also learnt how to prioritise and manage my time effectively.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I loved being a Business Admin Apprentice! It gives you the opportunity to understand the ins and outs of a large company and you are able to explore different aspects of the business that enhance and develop your knowledge and skills set. The experience you gain combined with the qualification you receive sets you in good stead to start a career in a working business environment. I am very grateful for the opportunity.
4. How valued do you feel by Unilever?
I feel incredibly valued by Unilever. They have invested so much time, effort and resource in developing my knowledge and understanding of the business and giving me responsibility greater than I would have initially imagined. They have helped me to grow in confidence and enhance my skill set - something that will be of great value to me in my future career endeavours. It's great to see the work that you do contribute to a project more generally.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
I feel the programme is fairly well structured. There is an induction into the business in your first week where you learn more about the company and get the opportunity to network with your fellow apprentices. You are supported throughout by Unilever, your assessor and your employer. For me the programme was well structured in terms of the regular progress review meetings.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
I had a great relationship with my assessor and we would often discuss my progress and development areas at our progress review meetings. The assessor would happily give feedback on your work upon request and would talk through your work with you. Whenever I had a question on my work my assessor would provide clear explanations and guidance.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I received a good amount of support from my line manager and wider team. My manager and I had weekly 1 to 1s where we would discuss upcoming projects/work I could get involved in and areas of development. These also provided a great opportunity to ask any questions I had. My team were also more than happy to support me wherever needed and talk me through things that were new to me and needed further explanation. Overall I felt my team were thoroughly supportive during my apprenticeship scheme.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
My salary package seemed to meet my costs fine. My salary package covered my travel costs, daily costs and social costs.(I still lived at home with my parents so I had very cheap rent!) All in all I feel my salary package suited me fine.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
At Unilever we have several opportunities outside of work. We have a large focus on sustainability and improving our social impact. As a part of this there are several volunteering opportunities and we have a dedicated volunteering day in the Leatherhead Office that employees can get involved in. I have also done some employability workshops at Job Centres and given talks about apprenticeship opportunities at schools. There is also a gym on site which runs several classes and personal training options which is a great way to improve your well being and meet new people.
9a. Would you recommend Unilever to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
I think Unilever is a fantastic place to work. The opportunities and exposure you are given as an apprentice is phenomenal. I never expected to be given so much responsibility, but I am so grateful for this as it has taught me so much. Unilever is a well known company and the opportunities to develop are endless. It has a vibrant, friendly and innovative atmosphere and you can learn a lot by drawing on your colleagues experiences. It’s such a brilliant development opportunity for those wanting to get ahead in a career they will love and to gain further experience.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Unilever? *
Go for it! Be yourself and embrace the opportunity. I would say do your research and ensure that it is something that you truly want to do. Also think about what you want to get out of the experience and don't be afraid to challenge yourself. If you are willing to work hard and embrace the opportunity the apprenticeship scheme will be the perfect fit for you! :)
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