Tell us about yourself. What do you do and what challenges does it bring?
I am a financial services coach at Davies. In my role I support apprentices and build plans for their completion while aiding them through a combination of face-to-face meetings, tasks and setting feedback to make sure that they are hitting the required targets.
The challenges my role brings varies from individual to individual, some apprentices come straight from school or university, never having worked in an office environment. They require training to learn how to approach an office setting, work well with colleagues and develop an effective working relationship with a line manager. Others will be much more experienced and may have worked in the industry for multiple years, but they haven’t studied in a long time. They require help to get back into the routine of studying and understanding what’s required from them during the course.
What are the top benefits of doing an apprenticeship?
In the wider scheme of things, financial services apprenticeships are relatively new. So to give learners the opportunity to gain the skills and knowledge necessary and then apply that to the working environment is really exciting. For many, it’s great to have hard evidence, independently assessed by an external examining body, to show their employer that they have the skills and knowledge to thrive in their job.
What do you say is the biggest challenge for apprenticeships in 2022?
Restrictions have been lifted, meaning several apprentices will be able to spend more time in the office and have more opportunities to collaborate. However, one of the biggest challenges will be getting back into a routine and adjusting to what the new working life will look like. Many apprentices will fall into their old office routine quite naturally, whereas others will find this a challenge. I think this change will be quite a tricky one and won’t be something that just looks after itself.
What is your proudest moment as a coach?
One apprentice springs to mind as a particular success story. This apprentice first joined the programme when Covid-restrictions were first introduced, and everything shifted to remote working. He had difficulty working from home as it wasn’t a natural fit. Struggling with his own personal motivation and the pressures of starting a new position, he very nearly left the programme. Keen not to lose him, we came together to understand how we could make the apprenticeship work for him in this new environment. In the end, the new job was an added advantage and helped him meet the requirements of the apprenticeship, giving him the additional focus of making sure that he was up to speed in his role – and he has very recently completed his apprenticeship!
Tell us about a learning mentor that has inspired you
I spent 10 years working in the insurance industry and charity sector, and there’s a couple of line managers I’ve worked with that have had a massive influence in the way that I approach my work. The first thing that really stuck out to me were those that were considerate of the people that worked around them, put their team’s well-being first and made you feel secure in your role. Secondly is advice around being able to put yourself into somebody else’s shoes which I ensure I do when teaching these programmes. I had a great line manager when working in insurance who would work out what everybody’s objectives were and help facilitate to ensure all objectives were met but also achievable to everyone on the team.
Our learning solutions team delivers a range of apprenticeship programmes across insurance & financial services. Get in touch to find out how we help businesses make the most from the apprenticeship levy.
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