Behind apprenticeship learning

Empowering women through learning with Management Coach, Samantha England
Tell us about yourself your role and challenges your role brings.

I’ve been in leadership and management for over ten years, and in the last two years working on the Women in Leadership (WIL) qualification in particular. I’ve got a passion for supporting the growth and development of ladies in the community and have been active in getting women into parliament as I am part of an all-women’s parliamentary group.

I love my role as, not only do I meet some fantastic women, but I also work on generic qualifications with male learners in the same lines and deliver leadership training support to them to make sure they understand the theories relating to management.

The main challenge I face is managing everyone’s stress levels. Many of my learners are juggling more than just their own role due to people within their teams leaving or being away. This puts more pressure on them which can often get in the way of the time spent on their qualification.

What are the main benefits of apprenticeship learning?

The obvious benefit is that you save yourself a lot of money doing an apprenticeship rather than going to university and you come out with initials after your name as a chartered manager. With it being an on-the-job role, the learners get hands-on experience and most of my learners get promotions at the end of their course which often results in a significant pay rise.

Another benefit of apprenticeship learning is the 20% off-the-job training you’re entitled to. All learners are allowed to take time out of their working day to study. This encourages learners to also put themselves forward and ask to join in with things in the office, giving them exposure to new things and the ability to network.

What are your top 3 studying tips?

Tip 1: Have confidence in yourself and know that you can do it!

Tip 2: Make sure whatever style of learning you do; it’s suited to you and your way of processing information. This will ensure you achieve the best result at the end of your qualification.

Tip 3: Look after your wellbeing! One of the first things I teach my learners is that to be a good manager and to best look after your employees, you need to look after yourself first. Your actions and mood will reflect on your team and effect your ability to be the best manger you possibly can.

What is the biggest challenge for apprenticeships over the next 12-months?

I think the biggest challenge is going to surround attracting and retaining talent. Following the pandemic, there has been a significant decrease in people wanting 9-5 office roles. This has resulted in a lot of people being out of work, which is a real shame! It leaves a lot of people with double or even triple the workload which impacts on employee time and causes a knock-on effect on the time spent on their qualification.

What’s your proudest moment as a coach?

My proudest moment was designing the Women in Leadership qualification and resources for it with Carolyn Blunt, Growth & Client Success Director I am really pleased with how it turned out! Being a part of the process from start to finish has been incredible and it’s been amazing to finally see it all fall into place with learners completing and benefiting from the course. So many of my learners have said the course has totally changed their lives and that is very rewarding.

Can you tell us about an apprentice you’ve seen flourish?

One woman I coached lacked real confidence when I first met her, she was in a team of very strong, confident ladies and I think that led her to put herself down. One day, while she was taking the course, she just cracked, and something changed in her and her confidence. Since then, not only has she been promoted but she has also been given a pay rise and a huge budget to start a new project which she must do to complete her level 5 apprenticeship.

Tell us about a learning mentor that has inspired you.

There is a lady who inspires me daily. She is someone who continuously has her fingers in all sorts of pies, develops lots of different businesses and has her own app. She gives so much wealth of information on group calls. Radiating confidence and not sugar coating anything, she is very honest about what is really going on behind situations in the world. The world is getting more and more complicated, and I think we have started to see a real divide between those who want to work hard and those who don’t, she is someone who continues to inspire me to see my real purpose at work and to bring my all.

Our Professional Education team delivers a range of apprenticeship programmes across insurance & financial services. Get in touch to find out how we help businesses build a more diverse and talented workforce with use from the apprenticeship levy.

Samantha England
Management Coach

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