Spotlight on our apprentices
Lauren Smith - apprentice technical officer
Lauren, aged 22, says she enjoys her varied role: “We work both in the office and we get to go out on site too. “There’s a lot of admin work to do, such as creating purchase orders but you also get to go out on jobs.
“I’m working on the Town Hall refurbishment project at the moment so I’ve had to go and measure all of the toilets at the Town Hall to make sure they have all the correct measurements when the new ones are installed.”
Sam Devereux - apprentice joiner
Sam, 19, spends much of his time carrying out work in empty properties, where he works with more experienced operatives. He explains: “We do go into the properties and do the work that needs carrying out, hanging doors and replacing skirting boards. We finish the job and we go onto the next.” He studied at college for two years before taking on the apprenticeship.
“I prefer being an apprentice to being at college. You get paid and you learn on the job – it sets you up better because you have a job and do the work as well as learning.”
Jake Mallender - apprentice technical officer
Jake, aged 19, was encouraged to apply for an apprenticeship by his dad, Phil, who works as a technical officer. Jake left school at 16 and did a year on a plumbing course at college before applying for his apprenticeship. He is pleased with the variety the apprenticeship has given him.
He says: “I’ve been everywhere to voids (empty properties), with the capital works team and with the responsive repairs team. “It’s good because you’re able to go out on a job and you’re responsible for maintenance but there’s someone on hand to help.”
Gareth Elvidge - apprentice joiner
Gareth is 17 and left school last summer. He is completing the first year of a three-year apprenticeship.
“We do one day a week at college, which is like a school environment. Being an apprentice, you learn by helping out on the job and watching other people, seeing them work and learning what they do.”
He’d recommend an apprenticeship to others: “It really is the best thing you can do when you leave school.”
Melissa Riley - Clerical assistant
Melissa, 19, began an apprenticeship at Tapton Park Innovation Centre last year. After successfully completing her apprenticeship, she is now a permanent member of staff.
She explains: “I started out working half days, I would be on reception, helping set up the rooms for conferences and events and deal with requests from our clients.
“Then a permanent part-time position came up and I spoke to my manager about it to ask if she thought I would be able to take on the job – she encouraged me to apply for it but explained that I would be treated just like anyone else when it came to the interviews.
“I was really pleased to get the job, I enjoy working here and get on well with my colleagues and clients. It’s thanks to the apprenticeship that I was able to learn the role and that I went on to get the job.”
Evie Petford - apprentice technical officer
Evie, aged 23, is usually office based. She explains: “I’ve been working in the electrical section, taking calls from tenants about repairs that need carrying out and then arranging where the operatives go.
“It can be stressful sometimes but I do enjoy it.” She also has the opportunity to go out on site to assess what work needs doing and to inspect repairs that have been carried out. She enjoys the role: “I enjoy being at college but it’s good to learn the role by being on the job – you learn more that way.”