1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
Project management apprenticeship. The role involves 4 month placements in different teams within the estates department to gain an understanding of the overall PM role. This includes placements with the programme office, project support co-ordinators and quantity surveyors.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Yeah, I have developed many of the skills learnt at school, such as mathematics and IT and be able to apply these in real life situations. For example using and understanding investment appraisals, using excel, using project management software etc. On top of this we have developed new skills, these include gain a site safety qualification (CSCS). We also have chance to use the skills learnt on our project management course in practical situations.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I find the programme very enjoyable. The placements in each department mean the work is very varied and we get an overview of the whole process. We are also given opportunities outside day to day work including charity events, learning event & social activities which add to the enjoyment.
4. How valued do you feel by Co-op?
We are treated as a valued member of the team. We are given goals and objectives within each placement which add to not only our objectives but the business objectives are encouraged & helped us meet them.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
We are the first group of apprentices taken on within the estates team at the co-operative therefore the structure of the apprenticeship has be open to change as lessons are learnt. However the communication through our line manager and apprenticeship co-ordinator have made things very clear. The course links well with what we are doing in our day job and we are given opportunities within work to help build up evidence for our portfolios.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
Good support, we have week long sessions with our training provider every 6-10 weeks to learn the content required for the course. We then also have a session every two months in our offices to assess the evidence we have built up for our portfolio. Our assessor is very helpful and knowledgeable and is available over phone/email if we have any queries.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Support from our employer is excellent. We have regular meetings with our line manager to discuss progress and well being. We also have an apprenticeship co-ordinator who organises our placements and is always available for additional support. On top of that we have been assigned a mentor who has been through an apprenticeship with the co-op. This is all additional to the qualifications we have been provided such as site safety course (CSCS) and asbestos awareness.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
Salary is competitive and we get good allowance for expenses. It does match my current living costs however it would be a struggle if I had moved away from home.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
We are given opportunities to take part in charity events throughout the year and people are encouraged to develop themselves. On top of that we have opportunities to visit conferences, e.g. leadership conference. There are also opportunities for social activities on a regular basis.
9a. Would you recommend Co-op to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
Is a positive place to work with many opportunities. Apprentices are well valued and treated as part of the team while getting access to all the support needed.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Co-op? *
I would advise to do your research, the co-operative a strong history and their values are of high emphasis in day to day business.
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