1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My official job title is Voice Networks Apprentice. In my team, I help to maintain the company wide telephony system. In order to do my job correctly I need to interact with both internal colleagues and external suppliers. The most common day-to-day task is setting up a new number for a new employee.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
In the time I have been on my apprenticeship course, I have gained a level 3 qualification, and I have also developed soft skills that help with daily office interaction. Since working in the Networks Voice team I have learnt about the telephony solution and how it is used in a large company.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
The team I work with are all kind and considerate towards me, and are always willing to help if I need it. The culture within the Co-Operative is very diverse and always interesting to be a part of. When I first joined I wasn't sure what to expect from an office environment, however I have enjoyed it so far.
4. How valued do you feel by Co-op?
Monthly 1-2-1 sessions are set up between me and my team leader, in which he can bring up anything he feels have done well. There is also an internal recognition email that is sent out every week congratulate any employees who have done particularly well.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
Before I was sent to work in the Co-Operative, I was put through a boot camp to give me an idea of some of the skills I would need and what the environment could be like. Now, my time is managed with assistance from both my line manager and my Doris Mentors to ensure I am able to complete my coursework whilst providing a valuable service.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
I have both my mentor and my assessor who I can ask for help with any coursework I am struggling with. I can also go to my mentor for any help I may need with soft skills and to improve my working attitude.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
My team leader is supporting of me and will help to manage my working day between coursework and system work. If I have any issues relating to my work or anyone disputed within the team I can talk to him about it.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
On my current salary I have enough money to cover living costs, travel expenses, and any daily costs such as food. After these, I have sufficient money for my social life and savings.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
In the Co-Operative, there are several groups that have been set up by other employees to provide recreational activities either in lunch or after work hours. These include a workplace choir, and also a football team. A comedy evening is also arranged for employees every few months.
9. Would you recommend Co-op to a friend?
I feel that an apprenticeship is an amazing opportunity for someone who wants an alternative to college or university, but still wants a recognised qualification. This also helps to provide experience in the work place, which can be used for reference in any future jobs.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Co-op?
I would advise others to ensure they have a genuine interest in having an apprenticeship in a field instead of going to college or university, as an apprenticeship whilst giving an amazing opportunity, is not an easy route to take. it is also useful to already have some experience in what you would like to have an apprenticeship in, and also to know what you would ideally like to be doing in a few years time.
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