Celebrating National Apprenticeship Week

By Anita Jaynes on 4 February, 2020

Now in its 13th year, National Apprenticeship Week (3rd-9th February 2020) raises awareness of the benefits of apprenticeships for young people and for companies looking to nurture home-grown talent. 

The Swindon & Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership is proud to be an apprentice employer. Joe Palmer is the team’s Digital Marketing Apprentice. He is earning as he learns a wide variety of skills to promote the SWLEP to its online audience. Here we put the spotlight on Joe and find out how he’s finding his apprenticeship journey so far.

Where do you live?

I live in Bowerhill, Melksham, and commute to Corsham daily.

Where did you go to school prior to starting your apprenticeship?

I studied for five years at Sheldon School, going on to complete year 12 (AS level) there too before leaving to go to Bath College for a year to study a level 3 in International Business.

What made you decide to go down the apprenticeship route?

I’d taken some time out from education and had got a full-time job due to issues I’d had in my personal life. Because of this I had moved out and still needed to continue earning, even though I wanted to go back into education to gain more qualifications. An apprenticeship enabled me to learn and get paid at the same time.

Which apprenticeship provider are you using to complete your course?

I am completing the course through QA apprenticeships, a leading provider of learning services to both public and private sectors.

When did you start the apprenticeship? How long is it? And what level are you completing? 

I began my apprenticeship in September 2019 and my course usually takes around 15 months, although this can be flexible due to different variables. I am currently doing a level 3 in Digital Marketing.

How are you finding it so far? 

I’m really enjoying it. The workload is manageable and I’m enjoying meeting other apprentices at college and around the workplace. It’s great learning about only topics I actually care about too, compared to when I was at AS level and was studying some subjects just for the sake of it.

What would you say to any other students thinking about going down the apprenticeship route?

I would highly recommend it. Apprenticeships allow you to work in real world business environments, giving you the option to gain essential experience that employers are constantly asking for, as well as a possible foot in the door opportunity.

What’s been your biggest learning so far?

Adapting to office culture and life has been very challenging for me. Any jobs I had before this apprenticeship, part-time or full-time, were all physically active or manual labour jobs, so converting to an office was a big change for me. The changes ranged from organising myself and my belongings on a day to day basis to not being micro-managed and being in charge of my own work.

What’s been the biggest challenge?

The biggest challenge was getting back into strict working habits. I’d had some part-time jobs for example that I didn’t care too much for so, it was a big change and challenge for me to get back into a hardworking routine so I can be reliable as an employee. Time management, organisation and my mental attitude had to adapt accordingly.

What are your future aspirations?

My dream outcome would be to continue working for SWLEP as a marketing assistant. I would like to continue growing my knowledge of the subject for a few years before maybe diversifying into either the private sector or a new yet similar role, still within in the business world.

To find about more about the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership and to see Joe’s work in action, visit: www.swlep.co.uk and follow @SWLEP on Twitter. 

Follow the National Apprenticeship Week conversation on social media by using the hashtag #NAW2020.