- Chartered Manager Degree apprenticeship
I am currently a training manager in the Children’s Workforce Development team at Leeds City Council.
I am part of a small team that works with Council staff such as social workers, colleagues in education, children’s and fostering services. We make sure staff have the statutory training and qualifications they need to keep everybody safe and the continuing professional development to help them grow in their careers.
I left school with GCSEs and then did vocational qualifications. I decided to do an apprenticeship at a time when my own children were growing up and going to university and I thought, “It’s time to do something for me.” The Council had set up the apprenticeship with the University and I saw it advertised. At first I wasn’t sure if I could do it, but with encouragement from my employer I decided to go for it.
I got the manager post around the same time as I started the degree apprenticeship, which has been good as I’ve been able to put some of the things I’ve learned into practice.
I’ve enjoyed meeting other people on the apprenticeship, who are all from different parts of the Council. This has really helped us to dig deep into looking at how we function. We’ve done group work and presentations together and if one of us is struggling, we support each other.
There are times when it feels tough both working and studying, but I have got better at planning my time effectively which helps.
I’ve been able to apply so many things I’ve learned to my job – it’s really changed my heart and mind. I’ve loved the assignments where we look at our own organisation and our own roles, so I’ve used it to look at new directions I can take work projects, operationally and strategically. For example, I’m now rethinking how we deliver and pay for training to provide best value for money and benefit for our staff. My financial reporting is also very different now; I’m able to forecast better and keep better records for my budget. And I’ve learned project management skills, which I am bringing into all the work I do.
I never thought I’d get a degree – it’s like a dream for me. To anyone who was thinking about doing an apprenticeship, it sounds like a cliché, but I would just say, go for it – the support’s there.