1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
Corresponding with clients, utility/benefit providers, experts, colleagues and other external parties either by letter, email, face-to-face or over the phone. Printing, filing, scanning documents. Researching and communicating with companies to use for clients e.g. painters/gardeners/holiday resorts. Reviewing documents/files to find information. Attending meetings with clients and their families to discuss important issues and then writing up attendance notes.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have definitely developed lots of different skills such as communication/confidence by corresponding with clients/outside parties. My knowledge of the department I'm in has also developed as the tasks which I complete provide me with information. My attention to detail has improved due to researching files and having to pick out parts of helpful key information; I have had to do this in both my work and for my apprenticeship projects
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I enjoy my programme very much so. I do not dread coming to work everyday which was something I was afraid of. The team that I work within are very welcoming, friendly and helpful and they provide me with a variety of tasks which help me to progress. I find it useful to have contact with fellow apprentices that work within the same firm and department as I do because we can communicate with each other about things that we are worried about.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
I am given new tasks each day by my work colleagues and can ask them any if I am stuck. However, the tasks I receive from my training provider are sometimes non-existent but, this isn't always a bad thing. Also, sometimes communication with my training providers can be delayed, my Leaning and Training Assessor is good at communicating and friendly but, other contacts that I have at my training provider can take a while to reply and I may even have to send a follow-up email.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
My employer is very supportive and I received weekly meetings with my supervisor in the first 2/3 months of me joining the firm which was helpful. I also feel like I can always ask my colleagues for help if I am stuck or confused and they would happily oblige. Sometimes, things happen that get in the way of certain areas of support but this is usually understandable.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
My training provider provides a fair amount of support. My main contact with my learning provider is my Learning and Training Assessor, she is very supportive and friendly and usually good at communicating, she always does her best to provide the best support, others contacts at my training provider are not as good and have a delayed response, I sometimes have to send a follow-up email to obtain a response.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
I think it is good that I can learn on the job practically whilst receiving qualification at the same time. By completing tasks at work, this helps me to understand things better when it comes to studying and completing assignments for my apprenticeship and vice versa. It is good that I receive regular meetings with both my training provider and my employer. By learning more about various pieces of law on my study days and through assignments, I am able to locate pieces of information quicker whilst I am completing tasks for my employer. However, because I am near the beginning of my apprenticeship, the things that I am learning about through my training provider, are not always relevant.
8. Are there extra-curricular activities to get involved in at your work? (For example, any social activities, sports teams, or even professional networking events.)
There are a variety of extra-curricular activities to get involved in at work. Every week there is netball training and I regularly play the matches whenever they are on. Sometimes meals and other social events are organised for the netball team which is a good way to make friends and socialise. Another thing that I sometimes take part in is our charity work, I visited the whole building - including other companies - to sell them treats to help raise money which was fun and exciting but, I am not a part of the charity committee as of yet due to capacity but, I am hoping to be soon. Also, work organises social events such as quizzes, meals and drinks to help everyone socialise. This could happen more often though.
9a. Would you recommend Irwin Mitchell to a friend?
I would recommend Irwin Mitchell to a friend as the team I work in are very friendly and welcoming. I believe my team want me to succeed and progress within my career. The tasks that I complete each day are all varied and always seem different as the situations are never the same, everything is explained to me and I feel comfortable to ask questions if need be. Irwin Mitchell are very relaxed in terms of my apprenticeship study days that I have off one day every week, and they are supportive with the tasks that I have for my apprenticeship.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Irwin Mitchell?
I would advise others applying to Irwin Mitchell to be yourself as they want to employ someone who fits in with the team and they want everyone to get along well which won't happen if you are not being yourself. You should also make them aware of where you want to head with your career as they would want someone who wishes to progress.
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