1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I look after the credit control side of accounts for dealerships in the North West region. My main responsibility is to chase the customers' debt. Any money that is paid, either into the bank or by cheque or card, I allocate against individual accounts. I also have to open new cash and credit accounts, and often have to increase credit limits on accounts.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
As this is my first job I've learnt many new things. Being in a working environment for the first time has enabled me to gain professionalism skills. A big part of my role is interacting with customers and the dealership, so it has provided me with the skills necessary for effective customer service and helped develop further my communication skills.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I quite enjoy my job. Even though the work itself is quite repetitive and boring, I have a good relationship with my colleagues and work in a positive and friendly environment. I would be open to looking at other departments, to have a better understanding of what I want to do further down the line. However, the programme falls short on the apprenticeship side. I find it quite stressful and don't feel supported by the academy, which is negatively impacting my experience in this job.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
I think the apprenticeship programme is poorly organised. We have very little support and the work is often vague/irrelevant. I think not enough resources are available to be able to answer the questions. I have been working here for 7 months and have only been to the academy once. I think more regular training sessions from the provider should be introduced, as often it feels like I am being tasked work without being taught the knowledge.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Personally, my manger is great in supporting me. She allows me time to remove myself and focus on my apprenticeship work and has also offered her own time to sit down and help with tasks I am struggling with. If I need more time to focus on a certain task, occasionally she will take over some of my work, so that I have less pressure on me and can get things done.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
Little to none. It is pretty much just left to us and then they expect our managers to keep on top of things, but they are not even aware of the structure of the apprenticeship. I think the provider needs to do more in the way of supporting us and allocating time to training us.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
I feel as though my qualification/programme is pretty unrelated to my role, so doesn't really help with my performance. I work in finance and there is hardly anything tailored to helping me improve in my role/gain knowledge. However, it does help with the professionalism side of things, such as how an organisation functions.
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.)
Not really. I would like for there to be a lot more networking available (both social and professional). In my job role I am very separate from other departments so I never really have a chance to get my face/name around the business. It would also be nice to have more integration with other apprentices/colleagues, to feel more comfortable in my role and with the programme.
9a. Would you recommend PSA Group to a friend?
It is a friendly working environment with good pay and benefits and perks. I have enjoyed my first 7 months here and have been made to feel valued and challenged, which I think is important for professional development. It is a good company to work for. I think it is important that coming to work doesn't feel like a massive chore, and for me it doesn't.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to PSA Group?
Make sure to network, it is important to get yourself known around the business so that more opportunities are available to you. Ask questions if you don't understand. From my experience it is a very friendly environment and people are more than happy to help if you are struggling.
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