A week in the life of an apprentice

Apr 7 2017

George Spencer

Is there such a thing as a typical week in the life of an apprentice? I would say no, as every week is different, with new challenges and situations to keep me on my toes.

I work for Hampshire Futures, the County Council’s service for learners over the age of 14. We work in a building called Four Chimneys - a mile away from EII Court, over the railway line and with a steep climb on the way.

When I come into the office on Monday, with the first two cartons of milk for the week, I am introduced to the new apprentice in the office.

I then start processing enrolments for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Also, having finished the first draft of a piece of written work for my apprenticeship, I send it to a colleague to look over. I then send out requests for Duke of Edinburgh’s Award volunteer references, and process enrolments for Hampshire Futures courses. I also sort and distribute the post. However, my favourite task (it’s hard to pick a favourite, but I do have one, albeit marginally), processing careers contracts, is quiet at the moment as the school year is in full swing.

On Tuesday, I notice that the tea and coffee fund which is another of my responsibilities, is getting low, so I let colleagues know that it’s time to contribute. A four-pint carton of milk usually lasts a day, so that’s the biggest ratio of expenditure, averaging around £5 a week.

I go around the office, making sure that the first aid kits are up to date. Quite a few things need replenishment. In the afternoon, I have a meeting with my line manager to set my targets for the year, and deal with the post again.

On Wednesday, there is a change of scenery as I go to County Supplies at Bar End with many of my colleagues to learn how to use a new data system, called EBS.

On Thursday, I return to Bar End for the training part of my apprenticeship. The morning session covers the Level 2 IT qualification. In the afternoon, we begin Unit 3, communication in a business environment. I volunteer to make a video, by interviewing several senior colleagues about apprenticeships, and asking them their views on apprenticeships and whether they benefit the team.

I return to the office on Friday and process Duke of Edinburgh’s Award enrolments (arguably the most challenging task, as there is no margin for error) and references. I also go over the final improvements to my written work, a presentation involving data analysis. I process more Adult Learning enrolments and sort out the post. All this is done while manning the desk from which the car park barrier is controlled, as it is my turn to do so on Fridays. This can be trickier than usual; I remember being detained for fifteen minutes once when a child being picked up from contact refused to put her seatbelt on.

Once my apprenticeship is done, I hope to advance in the office, with new roles and responsibilities. My course will include a presentation along with several practical modules, along with an understanding of matters such as Health and Safety and meetings, and knowing how it all works and goes along will likely be a huge boost to my career prospects.