- 1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
- 2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
- 3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
- 4. How valued do you feel by Wealden District Council?
- 5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
- 6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
- 6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
- 7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
- 8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
- 9. Would you recommend Wealden District Council to a friend?
- 9b. Why?
- 10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Wealden District Council?
My role is within Wealden District Council, within Housing - Property Services. My every day responsibilities involve supporting my colleagues in repairs by answering phone calls and emails, communicating with tenants and other customers such as contractors in regards to repairs within council houses. I also support my colleagues that deal with Disabled Facilities Grants by taking on some of the grant work. I often assist them with the approval stage of the process which involves scanning and updating spread sheets and systems with progression notes. Other responsibilities include taking minutes in meetings, dealing with the Energy Performance Certificates for council properties (requesting, keeping records and sending them to tenants), doing mail merges and mail-outs and carrying out customer satisfaction calls.
I have learned many new skills throughout this Apprenticeship. I had worked in customer service prior to this but never telephonically, so I learned how to communicate with customers that way, ensuring my tone was right, and that I came across correctly. I learned how to send emails in a professional format and maintain a personal diary to organise my workload on Microsoft Outlook. I learned many new things, and discovered tools available on Microsoft Office programmes such as Word and Excel, making my use of the programme speedier and more efficient. I learned these new skills through training courses and everyday use. I have become much more confident in being assertive where necessary, which is something I struggled with previously - especially when dealing with aggressive/emotional customers - I developed this through 'Assertivness' training and through the support of my colleague's. I attended various training courses as already mentioned - others included: Nudge training (influencing behaviour), Equalities training, Interview skills training... amongst others. I have also been able to shadow colleagues in Reception, finance and the customer services and have been 'out and about' with colleagues in Property services in order to see the district and the work carried out council properties, first hand. I have also helped out with events held by Wealden DC, such as Fun Days (held in fielded areas, including activities for children), Coffee Cake and Computers (to assist those that need help and advice with technology) and Safety in Action days (to teach school children about everyday dangers such as fire safety and risks with drugs and alcohol).
I enjoyed working with my team, they have been very supportive and accommodating. They have been very understanding with the fact that I needed to dedicate time to my college work. They have been very patient when training me and have always been available when I have needed support. The apprenticeship has given me so much in the way of skills, knowledge and experience and has enabled me to start a career, having acquired a full time administrative role at the county council. Wealden District Council is full of lovely, helpful and knowledgeable people that genuinely care about what they do, and they do it well - I am very pleased to have worked here and will miss it when I go.
Very much so. I have felt like a valued member of the team from the beginning. I have always been thanked for my contribution within the team and have had regular catch ups with my line manger in which she has ensured that I am happy within my role. My Manager has shown genuine concern in regards to my progression, and achievements throughout my apprenticeship. and has taken on board any worries and concerns that I have had, and has worked with me to resolve them.
I feel that it has been well organised, but my only suggestion would be that apprentices should be given one full working day a week, away from their desk (training room, quiet work area) in order to study. Although colleagues were very supportive in regards to my studying/college work, it can be very distracting working at your desk, some colleagues may not be aware that you are studying or a colleague may walk away from the desk and the phone rings and you feel an obligation to answer it... it can cause problems and make you behind in your college work. It is hard to get in to the right mind-set if you sit at the same desk you do every day.
My assessor from college was very supportive, I could email/call her at any time and she would assist me with anything needed. When we had meetings she gave me helpful feedback regarding my college work and offered reasonable deadlines in which to get it done.
My manager was incredibly supportive - she helped me to organise my workload and organised regular 'catch up' meetings with me to discuss any current projects, concerns, upcoming events etc. My other team members have been supportive, patient and polite when training me and have always been available if I have needed help throughout the apprenticeship.
My salary is low,as expected with an apprenticeship but living with my parents, it has been the right time to do it. I enjoy working and decided that I did not want to go to university so an apprenticeship was the way to go for me. It gave me the opportunity to start a career through earning a qualification and gaining knowledge and experience, all in the space of a year. This has also been very practical for me as the Wealden District Council offices are located very close to my home, in a short walking distance and so I have not had the cost of travel to worry about. I have struggled at times with the low pay, but if it was not for this apprenticeship, I may not have been able to move on to full time, higher paying job. It has enabled me to start my career which makes it well worth the sacrifice.
Yes, as a member of the council I am able to have a membership at a leisure centre at a reduced rate as Wealden District Council are the landlords of the leisure centre. I have also been able too attend/assist with events on the district such as Fun Days (held in fielded areas, including activities for children), Coffee Cake and Computers (to assist those that need help and advice with technology) and Safety in Action days (to teach school children about everyday dangers such as fire safety and risks with drugs and alcohol).
The people here are lovely. It is a pleasant environment to work in, its a nice open office and there is a café for staff that offer hot and cold food and drinks throughout the working day, you are given all the recourses you need (equipment etc), there is a leisure centre next door in which you can enjoy a swim, or a workout session before, during you lunch break or after work (you can get a discounted membership as an employee), you get flexible working hours offered (depending on your role) - allowing you to start later, finish earlier and have longer lunches (as long as agreed with managers)and as an apprentice you are offered many opportunities to attend various training sessions, and are able to shadow staff and assist with different things throughout the council. There are bookable rooms and training rooms that you can retreat too if you need a quiet environment to work in. The CEO will have a catch up session with you and the other apprentices every now and again to see how you are doing and request your suggestions/advice for improvement. You are valued as an employee of the council.
Do it! It's a great place to work, you will learn so much and meet great people. Make sure that if you are successful, you take all the training and opportunities you are offered during the apprenticeship. Allow yourself to be challenged, ask for things to do, don't be afraid! Embrace the opportunity you have been given and get everything you can out of it.
Apprenticeship - Intermediate Level (Level 2)
Construction, Property & Surveying, Business & Administration