“When I started my apprenticeship in November 2016, I was 50 years old and was really very nervous about going into education again. I was in the middle of packing up in order to move house, so with 2 teenage children and a busy job so I did wonder how I would fit studying into my life. I had not undertaken any studying for almost 30 years so I was not feeling very confident in myself at all.
“At the first meeting with my LDO, Elaine Shaw, we got on well and she explained exactly what I would be doing over the course of the next 18 months. In order to undertake the apprenticeship, I also had to take Level 2 Functional Skills exams in Maths, English and ICT. Maths was always my weak subject at school so I was particularly worried about passing that exam. However, I am really pleased to have passed all 3 of these exams – but could not have done so without the support and tuition sessions I had with Alliance Learning. I have also had a lot of support from my Line Manager and my wonderful colleagues in the Main Office at Canon Slade School, who have all really encouraged me throughout my apprenticeship.
“Whilst undertaking research for all the assignments I have done, I have learned about many things, some of which are not particularly related to my role, for example, sales and marketing. However, whilst undertaking the ERR assignment, I learned many things that I did not know relating to policies and procedures at Canon Slade School which actually are very helpful to me in my day to day role.
“As part of the English functional skills exam, I had to give a presentation to my LDO and one of my colleagues. The subject I chose was Mental Health. Again, whilst researching this, I found out a lot of information relating to mental health that I had not been aware of – and particularly mental health issues relating to the workplace. Giving a presentation is not something I am comfortable with, however, I did it and felt a definite sense of achievement afterwards.
“I would say that undertaking this apprenticeship has been a very positive experience for me, with the added bonus of giving me a current qualification which will be really important when looking for a new job. I believe that being a more mature learner has afforded me the benefit of being able to draw on knowledge and the things I have experienced throughout my working life when undertaking the assignments. I do think that if I had been 20 (or even 30!!) years younger, my approach to learning and also to the assignments would be very different because I would not have had the benefit of life and work experiences. I also feel quite proud of myself and would say that confidence in myself has definitely risen.
“I am not ruling out any future learning and I will consider taking on a Level 4 Apprenticeship in time, however, I think I will have a break first.
“I will say it again because I really want to make the point that I have very much appreciated all the help and support that I have received from Alliance Learning staff throughout my period of learning – my LDO, Elaine Shaw and the functional skills tutors Kathryn, Mark and Hannah. Thank you all.”
Sharon McDermott, Level 3 Business Administration Apprentice (Canon Slade School)
For more information on the Alliance Learning’s Apprenticeship programmes, please call the Recruitment Team today on 01204 677888 or visit their website.