Isla is completing a Level 4 Project Management Apprenticeship with the Economy, Work & Skills team at Stockport Council. You can find out more about Isla’s apprenticeship experience below – from how and why she applied, to her current projects and her advice for future apprentices.
I decided to do an apprenticeship after completing my first year at university. As a result of the pandemic, I got to spend very little time on campus, which wasn’t the university experience I’d always imagined. I wanted to do something more hands on. So, after 3-4 weeks of evaluating possible routes, I decided that an apprenticeship seemed to make the most sense. I liked how that route offered the opportunity to earn and learn at the same time, whilst gaining vital knowledge and experience to help progress my future career.
I now work on the website I researched for my interview - https://stockport-jobsmatch.co.uk/, which was commissioned by Stockport Council. A key part of my role is reaching out to local education & training providers, getting their courses uploaded onto the website to help support unemployed Stockport residents. My week could be spent creating promotional material for the website/social media or having meetings with the providers showing them how to navigate the website – no two weeks are the same!
I found my apprenticeship on the GOV website https://www.gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship and applied via my current training provider, The Growth Company. The application process was fairly quick – I was asked to complete some maths and English assessments, then within a matter of days was invited to interview. I was asked to prepare a presentation with suggestions on how to improve the Stockport Jobs Match website. After the presentation, there were a few questions about the role and my experience. The whole interview lasted about 30-45 minutes, and I got the job!
My apprenticeship is definitely more hands on, but it has been challenging adjusting to the more social side of the role, like networking, having spent most of the past year indoors due to restrictions. I think this is something a lot of people can relate to – and I love that we’re trying to make a positive change, especially for young people. It’s been such a difficult time during COVID - with disruptions to learning and working – so being given the opportunity to support people back into work is really rewarding.
My advice for anyone else wanting to work in a council is: be yourself. Being an apprentice, you’re constantly learning something new about your role and yourself, the council know this when completing interviews. They’re not expecting you to be perfect, just personable!