What was your perception of Apprenticeships before you embarked on one?
Quite a negative perception, after studying and completing an Economics degree at Nottingham Trent University, the initial idea of becoming an apprentice was not appealing and appeared a backwards step. I was expecting to be the oldest apprentice on the course as others would be coming straight from GCSE’s at 16 into the apprenticeship course. There is a false perception that apprenticeships are for younger individuals leaving school who wish to partake in manual jobs ie Bricklaying and I must admit that was my perception too.
What made you choose the Commercial Procurement and Supply Apprenticeship?
After undertaking a yearlong placement, the offer came up after completion of my degree to return to the same company as a Procurement Apprentice. I thought this would be a great opportunity to be able to work within a company I enjoyed working for, all while developing the procurement skills that I had initially gained during my placement year. The structure of the course, the chance to develop and the added value opportunities provided by SRSCC were all key contributors in choosing the Commercial Procurement and Supply Apprenticeship. To receive the CIPS Level 4 qualification also gives me a good baseline for future procurement jobs.
In your opinion how has the Apprenticeship benefitted you?
I have massively developed my procurement skills such as; Negotiation, Project Writing, Risk Management, Cost Analysis and Tendering Techniques. This development meant I was able to become a Procurement Manager straight after completing my Apprenticeship. The chance to gain working practices and knowledge from other industries by socialising with others on my course was also extremely beneficial.
In your opinion how has the Apprenticeship benefitted your company?
Apprenticeships provide real-world value to people starting a career or upskilling themselves. They provide a really valuable contribution to our business by enriching our talent, offering alternative ways into the workplace, and showing that continuous learning throughout your career is not only possible but encouraged.
What would you advise anyone who was considering an Apprenticeship?
Go for it! It’s one of the best decisions I made, the ‘taboo’ of Apprenticeships is false and it will greatly benefit career development in Procurement. Also, embrace every aspect of the course and develop bonds with other individuals studying as this will make the courses easier and knowledge transfer is fantastic. However, make sure you keep on top of your work and plan ahead, it’s easy to get ‘bogged’ down juggling a full-time job and an apprenticeship course, especially when it comes to crunch time (exams). But most of all enjoy it!