For National Apprenticeship Week, our Group's Development Administrator, Rebecca, spoke to us about completing an apprenticeship with the Group.

Hi Rebecca, what made you want to do an apprenticeship?
I first heard about the apprenticeship at Progress Housing Group through Indeed; I needed a career change as the job I was in was convenient for the school run while my son was little, but he was getting older, and I felt like it was my time to concentrate on building a career. Even though I already had some qualifications, I knew I could benefit from gaining more experience and relevant qualifications to progress my career.

I completed my two-year apprenticeship to gain my NVQ Level 2 in Business Administration while working at the Group full-time. My manager allocated me one day a week to work on my apprenticeship. An NVQ teacher would visit me at the office every month, and a Maths and English tutor would come and complete lessons with me alternating every two weeks.

What was it like completing an apprenticeship here?
My apprenticeship was excellent! I spent the whole time moving departments, so I ended up with a great understanding of the majority of the business. The Group was supportive throughout my apprenticeship, and after spending time in different departments, I found a team I particularly liked working in, the Neighbourhoods Team. The team supported me and helped me grow not only in my day-to-day role but also in my NVQ work. Even though we are all mostly in different roles now, we still enjoy catching up from time to time.

Working and learning simultaneously can be challenging, but I was always given enough time to complete the work that had been set. If you are considering taking on an apprenticeship, my advice would be to keep on top of your assigned work, as it can be easy to fall behind.

At the age of 30, my family and friends were really proud of me for completing an apprenticeship! I had been a young mum and had pushed my career to the side to bring up my son, but now it was my time to shine.

What did you gain from completing the apprenticeship?
I came into my apprenticeship without ever using a computer, and I have developed so much! I finished my apprenticeship with an NVQ Level 2 in Business Administration and a Level 2 in English and Maths (which I never thought I would have!). I was also proud to be awarded Apprentice of the Year!

I have recently started a new role at Progress Housing Group as Development Administrator, working with the Development Team, which is a fantastic opportunity. My journey at Progress has been one I feel really lucky to have experienced. I moved from my apprenticeship into a triaging role in the Neighbourhoods Team. Next, I secured a permanent role as an Area Administration Assistant before applying for my most recent role as Development Administrator.

What would you like to tell someone thinking of completing an apprenticeship?
If anyone is ever thinking of undertaking an apprenticeship, without any hesitation, I would say do it! If you put 100% into it, you will undoubtedly get out of it what you put in! Also, don't let age put you off, either. I changed my career path for the better by completing my apprenticeship at age 30, but I would recommend apprenticeships to everyone, regardless of age, as I think it's great to learn and work at the same time. I am a big believer that everyone can do any job! They just have to be shown how, and with support and guidance, they will achieve their goal.

I would like to thank the people who have guided me and supported me throughout my time at Progress and helped build my foundations. I am really proud of what I have achieved and hope for a long career with Progress Housing Group.

National Apprenticeship Week runs from 6 - 12 February this year and 2023 marks the 16th annual week-long celebration of apprenticeships.

The theme for National Apprenticeship Week 2023 is "Skills for Life"; reflecting on how apprenticeships can help individuals to develop the skills and knowledge required for a rewarding career, and businesses to develop a talented workforce that is equipped with future-ready skills.

You can support National Apprenticeship Week 2023 by encouraging others to consider how apprenticeships can provide #SkillsForLife

Look out for more stories this week over on our Progress Housing Group social media channels from our brilliant colleagues who have undertaken apprenticeships.