Tell us about yourself, your role, and the challenges it brings.
I am a relatively new apprenticeship coach, starting only six months ago. I have worked in financial services for about 12 years now and deliver three financial services courses: Paraplanner level 4, Financial Advisor level 4, and Workplace Pensions level 3. I arrange meetings and workshops with my learners to keep them organised and strategise their path along the apprenticeship – what I call the yellow brick road. This helps them to understand the learning outcomes and how it relates to their job role.
The challenges I face in my role is making sure that my learners stay motivated, engaged, and that they stick to the agreed deadlines. Keeping communication open and finding time in their schedule to meet can also be a challenge.
What are the main benefits of doing an apprenticeship?
The number one benefit of doing an apprenticeship is earning while you learn. Another benefit is the ability to think about the skills and behaviours needed to be effective in your job role such as planning, organising, and collaborating with others. With an apprenticeship you don’t just learn how to do these things but why they’re necessary to do the job well.
What are your top three studying tips?
Tip 1: 25 minutes of studying, reading and active learning followed by a 5-minute break, then repeat.
Tip 2: Listening to classical music while writing assignments. This is helpful because it adds white noise which is proven to help you concentrate.
Tip 3: Physically removing yourself from your desk. I would recommend finding a different part of the office or go to the coffee shop because it sends the message to your brain that you’re not working at that time, you’re studying. It gives a physical separation and people won’t disturb you as much.
What is the biggest challenge for apprenticeships in 2022?
The biggest challenge I see is retaining learners, because now that society is returning to normality, more people are looking for jobs and new opportunities. Maybe they felt trapped in their previous role, but the uncertainty of the pandemic was holding them back.
What’s your proudest moment as a coach?
I haven’t been a coach for too long but since starting, several of my new learners have passed their first exam which is amazing. They’ve also been working hard on their knowledge statements and are already 60% of the way through. Just being able to see my learners improve with each session is incredibly rewarding and makes me very proud.
Can you tell us about an apprentice you’ve seen flourish?
One of my learners I’ve witnessed blossom is named Courtney. She passed her exam first time and has made a massive effort on her statement, working on this at the same time as studying for her exams which is no easy feat, and I’m so happy with her.
Another leaner I’ve watched flourish is Oliver. He’s been on the programme since before I started but during the time we’ve been working together, I’ve seen a massive improvement in his quality of work and seen how that has helped boost his confidence over time. Of course, I’m happy with all my leaners, I’m very lucky to have a good bunch of apprentices.
Can you tell us about a learning mentor that has inspired you?
My learning mentor is Kenneth, he was my apprenticeship coach and really helped me overcome the difficulties in the course. He was there every step of the way and is the reason why I’m a coach today. As I have done the apprenticeship course, I understand what my learners are currently experiencing, so I can resonate with them.
That’s why with my new learners I try to show them the important pieces of the apprenticeship needed as a reference from the beginning. In doing so I make them aware of exactly what they’re working towards whilst being clear and realistic with them so that they know my expectations.
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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