I have worked for Hampshire County Council for nearly 28 years and was quite comfortable in my role as PA to the Director of Economy, Transport and Environment, Stuart Jarvis, and Executive Member for Transport and Environment, Cllr Humby.
As part of my target setting meeting with my line manager in February, we talked about my development and what I could do ‘to develop my career’. My line manager suggested I undertake an NVQ3 Business Admin qualification as it would look good on my CV, but why would I want to do this? I am 52 years old and quite honestly was more than happy with my CV. The thought of studying again really did not appeal to me! However, after talking to colleagues and family I decided to embark on this new challenge. What did I have to lose, I would be gaining a qualification whilst meeting new people from other departments.
I attended my first session on 11 May 2017, really not knowing what to expect. The first thing that struck me was how young everyone else was compared to me; I was not sure how I was going to fit in. We talked about a team building activity, which was my worst nightmare. I thought I would make a fool of myself and I was completely out of my comfort zone! The day ended up being great fun and the other apprentices did not seem to be bothered that I was older than them. They have all been very friendly and approachable.
The whole experience so far has made me think more about the tasks that I do day to day as part of my job. Report writing was daunting to start off with as I had not written an essay since I was at school! Helen, my tutor, has been very encouraging and positive about the work I have produced so far and has really built my confidence up to take on new tasks within my role. Don’t be put off by the term apprentice. Apprentice means a person learning, it doesn’t prejudice against age, any age group can learn new things. I would definitely recommend considering being an older apprentice.