My experience with apprenticeships within Hampshire County Council has been considerably different to other people’s experiences. The reason being, when I did my level 2 Business and Administration apprenticeship it was run through an external company. When I started I was met by my assessor who ran me through the process and what to expect throughout the apprenticeship. The structure meant that I could choose the units that I wanted to work on, I did this in my initial meeting and after that my assessor would meet with me every two weeks and set me some pieces of work that I needed to complete through a learner website where I had my own profile. I would get notified when I was set work and how long I had to do it, I would have to complete it online and then send it to my assessor who would mark it and put her comments on my work. The work tended to be answering questions about topics in the different units, rather than writing a document and send it over as I sometimes do in my level 3, but I will explain this later on.
All my meetings with my assessor were at my workplace and were usually just a general chat to make sure I was comfortable with what I had to be doing and talking through the units that I had done previous to our meeting. I completed this apprenticeship in May with a level 2 in ICT as well.
Moving on, I am now in the process of doing my level 3 Business and Administration apprenticeship, the difference being that I am doing it internally through Hampshire County Council. The structure is very different to what I was used to when doing my level 2. With my level 3 I now have a training day every Thursday where I and 8 other HCC employees doing the same apprenticeship meet up and get taught the unit together by our Tutor.
From the start I preferred this style as it’s very much more suited to my way of learning. I prefer going through the units together and making as many notes as I can to refer back to and then write up on the subject. As you can tell, this is a very different way of doing this apprenticeship to my level 2; it’s more involved and personal. In April, we will be stopping our weekly sessions and they will become monthly sessions, we are currently doing them weekly as we are getting the compulsory units completed all together and we can all get an idea of how we should be completing our final pieces.
There are numerous differences when it comes to the internal and external ways of being taught. The biggest difference is obviously the training day that I now have every Thursday, whereas in my level 2 all work was assigned to me and I had around two weeks to complete it on the computer in my own time and then was set more work. Also, where and how I upload the work; we currently use a website called SkilSure which is not what I used in my level 2 so I am also learning how to use this website as well as doing my units. I am one of the only ones in my class on a Thursday that hasn’t been given an apprenticeship internally before so I have to get used to it pretty quickly!
Overall, I much prefer the learning style of my level 3 apprenticeship internally than externally. I really enjoy the way I am being taught currently through HCC, it’s a good way to meet new people and it’s a day dedicated to my level 3 so that I can really focus on my work and interact with others rather than always doing units alone without anyone around to ask questions.