West Berkshire Council

Faye's Case Study

Faye Parnell, Assistant Human Resources Officer

After leaving sixth form, I began my career with West Berkshire Council as an Apprentice Administrator in the Human Resources department. The role was my first experience working in an office environment, but I quickly became adjusted with the support of my line manager who mentored me through my apprenticeship. I was also very lucky in that many of my colleagues in the department had also either started as apprentices themselves or had completed an apprenticeship, so they could support and advise me through the programme.

Completing an apprenticeship is a great way to build knowledge and develop skills that support you to succeed in your role. From an apprentice perspective, it can be daunting starting what could be your first ever job, your first ever experience in an office, learning the remits of a new role and its responsibilities, not to mention undertaking the learning and studying to complete a formal qualification. The support I received was imperative to achieving my apprenticeship, as having a mentor that is committed to your success really does make the difference - resulting in you feeling invested in and motivated.

I believe the key to a productive, enjoyable and successful apprenticeship stems from the support wrapped round an apprentice throughout their programme. It is in the employers best interest as much as the apprentices to ensure the values and experience gained through an apprenticeship are capitalised on, as this will arguably determine the success that individual is able to contribute to the organisation going forward.

I have now worked for the Council for five years. In that time I have completed two apprenticeships and have moved from my initial apprentice role (with no prior office experience or HR qualifications) to Acting Assistant Human Resources Officer - three promotional jumps. Hopefully this is a good demonstration of how employees (new starters or even current staff) can be moulded and shaped from what started off as an apprenticeship into key contributors to a team.