By Lucy Jones
Apprenticeships – They’re for kids right? Those 16-year olds that don’t know what they want to do with their lives so need something to help them get a job? You could be forgiven for thinking this, but you would be very wrong.
Apprenticeships are for people of all ages, in any job role, who want to better themselves both personally and professionally. Those who want to learn how to better themselves, whether they are 16-years old and just out of school, or whether it is someone who has been in their job for 10 years and want to further their development. In the 8 years I have been in this job role I have seen many changes – from NVQ’s changing to Apprenticeships, from Key Skills changing to Functional Skills, and I have worked for companies who have got it so very wrong. Working at Raise The Bar has changed my whole perspective on the delivery of programmes. We specialise solely in Leadership and Management, because basically this is what we know best.
I have been with the company for 6 months and have never seen the delivery of an Apprenticeship like it within the sector. Anyone who completes an Apprenticeship with us gets a wealth of knowledge and tools given to them through the 9 workshops throughout the programme, as well as many, many resources delivered to them through The Learning App downloaded to their phone. I remember in my interview I was shown examples of these resources – the Topic Tapas, Micro Mentor, Learning Lowdown, Webinars, RTB Radio, all designed in-house and put together by specialists in the specific areas, and I looked at my now manager in disbelief and said ‘You mean I don’t have to make my own resources?!’. My title has changed from Assessor to Coach, because we Coach the learner through the programme with support and guidance.
Most visits are completed virtually through Skype, meaning we can ‘visit’ people all around the UK, at a time convenient to the learner. The new standards, in my opinion, are much more beneficial to helping a learner develop, compared to the old NVQ’s. We don’t need to see you answer a phone or write an email, we know you can do that with your eyes shut. We ask you to manage a project, coach a team member, learn about your own learning and leadership styles before learning about your team members and how to be the best leader or manager you can be. And the best part of my job? When my learner says ‘I really enjoyed learning about that’ or ‘I applied what I learnt at the last workshop and really noticed a difference’ or ‘This is really going to help me progress in my career’ all of which have been said to me in the past 6 months whilst working at Raise The Bar.
I recently had a conversation with a friend who told me he wasn’t enjoying his job. I told him I couldn’t relate or understand why you would stay in a job that doesn’t make you happy. You spend so much of your time working, and yes, essentially, we need to work to live, but why not make sure, if you are going to spend 5 out of 7 days of the week in a job, that you love what you do? Because by being a Coach at Raise The Bar, that’s what I do.
Read more about our Leadership and Management Apprenticeships