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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.”

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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

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Saira’s Care Worker Apprenticeship: A Success Story

Saira, 34, has recently completed her Lead Adult Care Worker apprenticeship (level 3) with Agincare.

Over the past two years, Saira has combined studying with a career as a Home Care Assistant as well as taking care of her three children at home.

Having now achieved her end point assessment, we caught up with Saira to find out more about her experience doing a Lead Adult Care Worker apprenticeship.

Stepping back into studies

Saira has worked at Agincare’s Woking home care branch for the past 7 years. In 2019, having spent time considering a means of progressing in her career, Saira approached her manager about doing a Lead Adult Care Worker apprenticeship.

“It was good because it was flexible. I have three kids so I can’t go to a college and study, especially during Covid. So I was able to study whilst at work. My Teaching and Learning Coach was always available to do phone calls and text when I needed extra help.”

Saira has three daughters aged 5, 10 and 14. As schools closed during the pandemic, the flexibility that the apprenticeship offered Saira meant she could continue her studies.

Lead Adult Care Worker Apprenticeship

Having chosen a course, Saira’s manager, Bev, put her in touch with training provider, Training Now.

Training Now is a nationwide training company specialising in social care, education and business apprenticeships. Although a separate business, it works closely with Agincare and all apprenticeships are provided by Agincare Group Ltd.

Apprenticeships usually last between 15 and 18 months, depending on contracted work hours. However, for Saira, the coronavirus pandemic would see her course go from face-to-face to virtual learning.

Doing an apprenticeship during the pandemic

Describing the affect that the coronavirus pandemic had on her Lead Adult Care Worker apprenticeship, Saira explains:

“They were so understanding and flexible with the apprenticeships. When I had a busy week they would give me less work to do that week, and I would do more when I have time. They really worked with me.”

Saira is thankful for the support and tailored learning afforded to her by Training Now and its team. Rather than being confined to a strict learning plan, the training could be adapted to accommodate for unexpected changes in routine or work.

Saira also described how her teaching and learning coaches helped to motivate and push her towards completing the Lead Adult Care Worker apprenticeship.

“I had a team of two teaching and learning coaches, Daniela and Gemma were both excellent.”

With the support of Training Now, Saira has been able to complete her Level 3 qualification regardless of the challenges faced during the pandemic.

The different methods of learning available, be it in branch, zoom, or phone meetings meant that Saira did not miss out on her education and has benefitted greatly from her apprenticeship.

What’s next for Saira?

Already Saira has seen the benefits of her studies. In June, four months before completing her Lead Adult Care Worker apprenticeship, Saira was promoted from Home Care Assistant to Care Coordinator. Woking branch manager, Bev White, said:

“Saira has benefitted greatly from the training she has completed, her confidence has grown and she has now successfully been promoted to care coordinator and is a valued member of the office team.”

That decision in 2019 to return to studies has proven to be rewarding, helped by the flexibility and support offered by Training Now. It has already seen Saira progress her career and feel confident in her new role. She added:

“The apprenticeship really helps. I remember things I learnt, like data protection, every time I’m at work.”

What’s more, Saira is considering another course and progressing further in her career.

“I have an appointment with Training Now for careers advice next week. I want to keep studying and progress. I’m thinking of doing level 4, then level 5.”

Training Now encourages all apprentices to book a session with a careers advisor. Whether they are looking to create a CV, or need advice on avenues of career progression, the careers advice service continues to support apprentices even after their course has ended.

When asked if she would consider continuing her education, Saira added:

“If I was to do any further training, I would definitely do it through Training Now.”

Entering an apprenticeship programme is a great way to earn while you learn and means you can put your skills, knowledge and experience into practice straightaway.

Or call us today on: 01305 897655

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Congratulations Bradley!

Here at Training Now we love to congratulate our learners and celebrate their achievements.

Bradley recently completed his apprenticeship in social care. We caught up with him to find out how it feels to have achieved his apprenticeship, and how he found the learning journey…

Carrying out my apprenticeship in healthcare has opened my eyes to so much more than I ever imagined.

It has taught me so many different things and I am so glad I completed it.

It feels great to have completed my apprenticeship in ‘Lead Adult Care Worker‘ as now I can move on to the next stage in my career.

Bradley Alderton