Meet our new business administration apprentice

Whitney, 24, is the newest apprentice to join our Training Now team, working towards her level 3 business administration apprenticeship.

As well as providing social care, education and business apprenticeships to employers across the country, we welcome our own apprentices, working in our head office on the Isle of Portland.

Two months into her placement as a course administrator, we caught up with Whitney to find out more about her journey and how she is finding her business administration apprenticeship.

Meet our newest apprentice

Whitney spent an impressive seven years working in retail for the same company. During this time, she attended college and later completed a Level 2 Retailer apprenticeship.

But working in retail was never Whitney’s dream career and she was eager to find a more structured work environment with avenues for progression.

As is common for many, upon leaving school Whitney struggled to find ways of gaining the experience she needed to find employment. She explains,

“I applied for admin jobs but I just didn’t have the experience. So I thought, why not gain the experience while doing it. That’s the good thing about an apprenticeship.”

Thanks to her friend and our Enrolment and Compliance Officer Andrea, Whitney found an opportunity with Training Now.

With an apprenticeship, Whitney can gain the skills she needs to progress her career and earn while she learns. Through a combination of on and off the job learning, Whitney is working towards the all-important qualification she needs.

“My apprenticeship means I can be earning while gaining more knowledge and experience. For me, the most important thing is that it allows me to gain a qualification and helps me develop my career.”

Level 3 Business Administrator Apprenticeship

As a Course Administrator, Whitney supports the learning and development team in making sure that Training Now’s professional development courses run smoothly. It is her responsibility to book and make sure that people can access their SAT training.

Whitney has made a great start already and has recently taken on the additional responsibility of administering the claims for the Workforce Development Fund.

Managing Director for Training Now, Tara Roudiani, added:

“Whitney is already displaying the level of customer service expected by us in Training Now. She can troubleshoot and field phone calls from our candidates when they are struggling to access their training courses or their assessments and has a real eagerness to learn. She is a valuable and valued member of our team.”

With on the job learning, Whitney is gaining practical experience in course administration; enabling her to not only learn, but to build confidence in her new found knowledge and skills.

This was particularly true last month when Whitney visited the Agincare Weymouth Home Care office to invigilate a functional skills exam.

“My business administration apprenticeship helps me gain the experience I need while doing it. It helps me to learn through actually doing it rather than just reading or sitting in a classroom. Having done a course on the rules and then getting to invigilate an exam, I am so much more confident.”

Support services for apprentices

All of our apprentices are supported by a Teaching and Learning Coach and also benefit from our range of additional support services.

This includes careers advice and guidance with a specialist careers advisor. During these sessions, apprentices can seek help exploring their options for the future, updating their CV or building their interview skills.

Whitney is supported through her apprenticeship by Teaching and Learning Coach Klaudia who provides guidance, mentoring and training.

When talking to Whitney, she stressed the value in having a supportive team around her.

“What’s special about Training Now is that they are so supportive. My Teaching and Learning Coach is always available to listen or help me and I know how to access additional support if I need it. Everyone is always there to answer questions I have and to help me learn.”

Whitney is also supported by Training Now’s previous business administration apprentice, Katie, who continues to work within the team; offering her insight into her End Point Assessment and what to expect throughout her apprenticeship.

Unlocking your career potential

Already, Whitney has settled into the team, and to her role. What’s more, she shares a genuine passion for supporting others to receive the learning they need to realise their career potential.

However, for the newest apprentice, there is another factor that makes working at Training Now so rewarding.

Training Now primarily delivers social care apprenticeships and short courses to care staff working for Agincare; one of the UK’s largest care providers. This, Whitney explains, makes her work all the more gratifying.

“My job is so rewarding. I get to help people to care for people. I help give them the training to do that.”

For Whitney, her business administration apprenticeship is helping her to escape the dilemma faced by many leaving school and looking for a career. She is gaining the qualifications needed to open new doors for the future.

While her exact path remains unclear, Whitney stressed how her apprenticeship was a means of opening up new doors for the future.

“Apprenticeships are a stepping stone into more options. I want to work my way up in administration and take opportunities that gaining my qualification will open up for me.”

Drawing our conversation to an end, we asked Whitney what advice she would give to anyone considering an apprenticeship with Training Now. Her advice:

“Go for it. It’s a big step towards your long term goal and everyone is so supportive and helpful.”


Our new functional skills tutoring for apprentices

Training Now has launched a new program of functional skills tutoring sessions for apprentices.

If you are currently doing an apprenticeship with Training Now and need support studying for your functional skills qualification in Mathematics, you can join our free, face-to-face sessions. The online video call meetings take place every Tuesday and Friday between 6 and 8pm.

It is a requirement of an apprenticeship that apprentices have or gain a level 2 (GCSE equivalent) qualification in English and Mathematics. British Sign Language qualifications are an alternative to English qualifications for whom this is their primary language.

Apprentices without the required qualification need to achieve this level prior to completion of their Apprenticeship. They are supported by their allocated Teaching and Learning Coach.

Although all apprentices receive mentoring sessions with their Teaching and Learning Coach at least once a month, Training Now is committed to opening pathways for individuals to seek further assistance with their studies.

The three-month trial of functional skills tutoring is part of that commitment. It offers an opportunity for those currently studying for their Level 2 Maths qualification to receive additional tuition alongside their normal mentoring and online learning.

Director of Training Now, Scott Jones explains:

“We are trialing Maths tutoring as this has been identified as a key point of failure for apprentices. By providing that additional face-to-face support, we are giving apprentices a chance to talk through areas they find challenging in a way they are unable to do on the e-learning platform.”

Apprentices complete the qualification through Skills Forward, an e-portfolio system which enables a greater autonomy over how and when the individual learns compared to traditional, classroom-based teaching.

While the virtual learning enables apprentices to work their studies around other commitments, Training Now acknowledges the importance of providing a range of support services to assist them in gaining their qualifications.

Delivery Manager, Jo-anne Mackay added:

“Everyone learns differently and, by setting up these sessions, we are giving our apprentices a choice in how they learn. The tutoring is not there to replace the e-learning platform, but it gives apprentices a chance to ask questions, and engage in discussion about their learning.”

A month into the service, the functional skills sessions have a 100% pass rate and continue to welcome apprentices weekly. With this success, Training Now is looking at further increasing the support services it provides.

Functional skills tutoring in level 2 English and ICT are set to accompany the current Maths sessions and careers advice service for apprentices in the coming months.

To find out more, or to join the free functional skills tutoring sessions, contact your Teaching and Learning Coach or call: 01305 897655