1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I provide assurance within the retail risk, health & safety team. I manage the risk register for our function and deliver risk management upskilling. I carry out assurance reviews around a range of topics that impact the effectiveness of the function. I oversee the governance of our team activity and any other activity that comes up.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learnt about reflective practice, which has helped me examine my career and personal development to date. My report writing skills have developed and this has had a positive impact on my job role. I have learnt more around management and leadership of people. I've learnt how to be critical of theories and models and how to select which works for me.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I both love and loath it! The modules are really interesting and relevant to me in the workplace. The opportunity to work with new people across the business has been invaluable and I'm learning a lot that will help me with my future career. The amount of personal time I have had to invest is putting a bit of pressure on my home life, but it will be worth it in the end
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The structure was made clear at the start, with expectations of when the residential blocks would be and what commitment would be required. What wasn't made as clear was the second part of the degree apprenticeship - the chartered management qualification. There is a lot of work required for this but it seemed to get skimmed over at the start.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I receive plenty of support. My employer makes sure my line manager is aware of the commitment that is required and I always have time to take my study apprentice time. The output of my work is shared with our team and helps provide insight for our team around business issues.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
The support from the tutors is fantastic. They are always quick to respond to emails or phone calls and it doesn't matter how daft you think the questions are, they will always help. If we need to go over something as a cohort that we are all struggling with, they will adjust the study time to fit this in.
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 already bringing a number of skills with it. My report writing has improved as I am thinking more about the structure and objectives of the report and am able to tailor the academic way of writing to a business environment. The self-reflection I have learned is helping me perform better as well.
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.)
Yes, absolutely tons of professional networking opportunities, whether through one of the Co-op networks that have been set up, such as Aspire (supporting Women in the workplace), or the Youth Network. New ways of working using Office 365 is enabling more social groups to be brought together and people with similar interests to set social events up.
9a. Would you recommend Co-op to a friend?
The company values and ways of being are fantastic. It's great to work in an ethical company where you are actively encouraged to make a difference. There are lots of opportunities to move within the business and the apprenticeships being rolled out to other parts of the business is a great step.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Co-op?
To really be prepared to show that you live the values of the Co-op. That if you work hard, there are loads of opportunities and the people that work here are absolutely fantastic. I'd advise to work our what 'Being Co-op' would mean to them and consider their leadership style.
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