National Apprenticeship Week 2019

Hiring apprentices into your organisation is a great way to enhance your service and bring extra skills and knowledge into the team. If you use our HIA Case Manager system, access funds to support your clients through Foundations Independent Living Trust or have just called our office, you will have met Lydia, Harry and Calvin, and you may in fact work with them regularly. They are integral to the Foundations team and have brought new ideas, enthusiasm and creativity to their roles, and fortunately for us, both Harry and Lydia have chosen to continue to work with us after the end of their course. As part of National Apprenticeship Week 2019, we asked them about their apprenticeship and their time with Foundations so far.

Lydia is our Business Admin Officer, who started as an apprentice in 2017.

“When I started my apprenticeship at Foundations, as well as completing the work from the apprenticeship agency which comes in units, my role was split into two – one half assisting with our charitable arm, Foundations Independent Living Trust and the other half completing admin tasks, including answering the phones, dealing with enquiries from the general public, updating and altering spreadsheets when needed, booking meeting rooms/train tickets for my colleagues when required and giving presentations at meetings when out of the office.
“The reason I am in my current role is because of the apprenticeship that I did. It built my confidence in the workplace, so I am now happy to talk to anyone over the phone or by email. I know who to go to within the office, when asked anything and I have been able to progress, take on more responsibility and more recently another role.” Lydia now supports in our accounts team, arranges training courses and has increasingly taken on more responsibility.

Harry is our Technical Support Officer and helps to manage, maintain and assist all HIA Case Manager customers through the system’s Helpdesk. His comprehensive IT ability also means he can offer the team regular computer support.

“Managing the Helpdesk is one of my main roles. This entails responding to clients on time to meet SLAs and escalating issues to relevant people when necessary. I also do quite a bit of consultancy work for our existing clients. This can be anything from coding reports to engaging in conversations which improve customer systems to better suit their needs.
“I’ve learnt a lot of workplace skills and how to act in a professional environment, and I’ve had supportive people around me who will always help. Without my apprenticeship I wouldn’t have been able to secure the job I’m in now. I have more advanced coding skills, which helps Foundations to develop it’s offering to the sector and can provide more extensive one to one support to our existing clients to expand their systems to fit their ever-changing needs.”

Harry’s work has meant that we can support significantly more HIAs and Local Authorities with HIA Case Manager, and that we can increasingly develop the system, offering consultancy to ensure the best possible service for HIAs.

Our newest apprentice is Calvin, who has worked with Foundations for just over 6 months. Calvin also works on HIA Case Manager and brings additional coding and website knowledge which have been very beneficial in broadening the IT support we can deliver.

“The main benefit for me is that I am gaining real life experience. Instead of learning what could happen in a professional environment, I am learning what does happen whilst continuing in education. I have been doing all the work that I would be doing if I wasn’t an apprentice, however I feel more motivated to ask questions and learn as much as I can from my colleagues.
“I have also learnt lots of technical knowledge about the sector, I now understand phrases and can process technical information much faster than I could whilst in education, as I am constantly speaking with professionals who have years of experience. There is nobody better to learn from than someone who has had to use their knowledge in real scenarios.
“The work I have done has allowed me to think more professionally and trust my decisions. After seeing how my manager works and what he does daily, I feel this apprenticeship has not only opened me up to more professional roles but also leadership roles.”

Calvin is continuing his apprenticeship with us over the course of the next year.