I started my apprenticeship at West Lancashire Borough Council in May 2017. I saw an apprenticeship as the best thing for me as I would be able to earn a living wage whilst learning and developing necessary skills for the future as well as getting a qualification in something extremely useful. Working as an apprentice in the Council, I have had the opportunity to work closely with staff who have been in the organisation for a long time. This has helped me to quickly gain confidence in my work and have a real hands on experience working in an office environment.
My role as an Apprentice Administration Officer is to provide general office support for my colleagues. I also have a lot of work that involves data inputting which allows me to use the QL housing system on a regular basis and become familiar with the Council's procedures. I have also had the opportunity to develop my confidence and phone skills by answering internal and external calls.
Alongside my job roles within the office, I have also had the opportunity to attend various courses to improve my computer skills using software such as Microsoft Word and Excel. In addition to this, I have also attended other courses that have helped to improve my personal skills and creativity which I feel has been very useful to me in both my work life and everyday life. I am currently studying for my Business Administration Level 2 qualification. I feel like this is a good qualification to have and will help me in any job that I may get in the future. The work that I do as part of my NVQ is interesting and varied and has helped me to gain a wider understanding of the Council's office procedures and policies. I am looking forward to finishing my apprenticeship and seeing if I can develop a career within the Council.
After completion of my A-Levels I wanted to get ‘hands-on’ experience of the working world, so I applied for the apprenticeship post in the Council and was appointed in 2014. I work within the Economic Regeneration section, a diverse team responsible for driving economic growth, skills and employment. A key priority is to engage with and support businesses, and I am the initial point of contact for all business enquiries. Since I began my apprenticeship journey in 2014, I have developed many skills including my presentation skills, advanced ICT, team-working, creative-writing and database-management skills, to name a few. Overall, I believe my apprenticeship has enabled me to develop excessively both in a professional and personal capacity which has enabled me to be the confident individual I am today. Whilst doing my apprenticeship I have obtained the Level 2 and 3 NVQ Diploma in Business and Administration as well as my level 1 & 2 in ICT Functional Skills. I am hoping to achieve my Level 4 Diploma this year.
Kim Webber, Chief Executive of West Lancashire Borough Council states:
"We are very proud of Portia's achievements as she was the 2017 Winner of the North West Higher or Degree Apprentice of the Year for the Liverpool City, Cumbria and Lancashire Regions and Finalist for the 2017 Sub36 Awards Apprentice of the Year".
After finishing my undergraduate degree in History, I wasn’t sure what career path I wanted to go down but I found an apprenticeship scheme with West Lancashire Borough Council. I work within the Voids and Allocations team in the Housing and Inclusion Service.
My job has helped me to develop skills such as team-working and building rapports with contractors, working to deadlines, and multi-tasking skills which have become essential in a fairly fast paced job.
Since beginning my job with West Lancashire Borough Council, I have gained a Chartered Institute of Housing Level 3 qualification in Housing Practice and I have since started my Master's Degree in Building Surveying. Luckily for me the people I have met in the council have inspired me to follow a career path I never thought I would be able to do.