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To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week 2021 (8 to 15 February), we are sharing the stories of some of the team who started their journeys as apprentices. After realising A-levels weren’t for her, Bethany Ward began an apprenticeship in Business Administration at UMi in March 2019, attracted by the prospect of learning new skills in an office environment while earning a wage. She has since been promoted to HR and Office Assistant and thrives on being part of the UMi family.

Why did you decide to do an apprenticeship at UMi? 

After secondary school, I began studying A-levels at college but soon realised this wasn't the correct path for me 

I began to explore my options. I didn't have a 'dream job' or know what I wanted to doI felt a little overwhelmed and lost. I started looking at apprenticeships because I liked the idea of gaining relevant experience while working towards a qualification.  

I came across UMi on Indeed and contacted Optimum Skills (the apprenticeship provider) to find out more about the apprenticeshipit had available. I decided to apply for the Business Administrator one as the job description seemed well suited to my existing skills. When I went into the UMi office for my interview, everyone was so friendly and they made me feel really comfortable.   

 

What did the apprenticeship involve? 

My apprenticeship assessor came to the office at the beginning of each month to give me a one-to-one lesson. She would go over a topic with me and then set me work to complete that month. We also did 'observations', where my assessor would watch me carry out a series of relevant tasks. I was given time in my working hours to complete my apprenticeship work, which I would record in a logbook.  

 

What skills do you think the apprenticeship taught you and how did it help you to get to know UMi as a company? 

I learned so much in my apprenticeship and I am continuing to learn new things every day. My confidence has grown, and I've developed essential skills that I will use throughout my working life such as time-keeping, communication, responsibility, problem-solving and the ability to work in a team.  

At the beginning of my apprenticeship, I was involved in the rebrand to UMi, so I feel very close to the company. We're like a big family. 

 

How has your career progressed and how has the apprenticeship helped you? 

After completing my apprenticeship as a Business Administrator, UMi offered me a permanent position as an HR and Office Assistant. I felt so grateful for the opportunity. I use everything that I learned in my apprenticeship in my day-to-day job. 

 

What would you say to anyone considering an apprenticeship? 

Go for it! There are so many key benefits of doing an apprenticeship. You can earn money while learning new skills, receive recognised qualifications, gain independence and work on real-life projects. 

Are you thinking about taking an apprentice on in your business? For advice on this, or any other business query you have, just ask UMi. Drop us a line at letstalk@weareumi.co.uk or give us a call on 0330 124 7305.

Ashleigh Smith
Article by Ashleigh Smith
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