Twenty-one-year-old Callum Lucas always knew the Apprenticeship route was the pathway he wanted to take. Having missed out on an Apprenticeship opportunity after finishing school in 2016, Callum had almost given up on achieving his goal. However, with help from ACT, Callum successfully secured an Administration Apprenticeship position in the School of Psychology at Cardiff University: a top five university for research excellence.
“I had always wanted to be an Apprentice, especially an administration Apprentice. I really enjoy learning and obtaining new skills on the job, so an Apprenticeship really appealed to me. After completing my A-Levels, I looked for an Apprenticeship in administration, and came close to securing a role, but didn’t end up getting it. I then worked at an electronics factory for two years, which I enjoyed but I was working in a job that I wasn’t fully invested in, and I felt that I could offer more elsewhere. I have always been very goal orientated, so I felt like being stuck in one position, which offered no promotions, wasn’t going to be good for me, so I decided to start applying for more Apprenticeships. Now that I am an Apprentice, I think it’s the best decision I’ve made.”
Callum is not only gaining invaluable on-the-job work experience with his Apprenticeship, but is also learning a range of new skills. All while working towards his Level 2 qualification in Business Administration. As his confidence grows and he continues to excel in his role, Callum’s line manager has entrusted him with even more responsibilities to help him further develop his skills:
“I have many different tasks I undertake daily, with each day very different to the next. I have regular meetings with my line manager to review my progress, which is great because I can then use the skills I am learning to improve on my performance. I am always being given different duties which help me understand how the university and the course works. A big part of my work has seen me tasked with running the exam period, which is the University’s busiest period. Even though it’s busy, I enjoy this time, as I learn so much about the School of Psychology.”
In addition to his day-to-day role within the Psychology Department, Callum has also been working with the finance office for twelve hours a week. He has been assigned a number of additional responsibilities and is given specific essential tasks that are integral to the smooth running of the University. The flexibility that the Business Administration Apprenticeship offers has been extremely beneficial for Callum, as he feels it is making him both an adaptable and versatile employee:
“This current role has been brilliant for me. I have developed many different skills whilst being an Apprentice, including working as part of a team and building positive relationships with my colleagues. All that I have learned from my training is really helping me in my day-to-day role within the University. I feel like I am a much better-rounded worker now than I was nine months before I started.”
To ensure the learner journey is as cohesive and efficient as possible, ACT offer OneFile; an online e-portfolio system which charts the progress of learners in real-time. OneFile documents all the training, coursework and assignments the learner has completed. Speaking about his learner journey experience, Callum commented:
“I feel very proud when I follow my OneFile progress, as I am accomplishing something I’ve wanted to do for a few years. I enjoy learning new skills and putting them to use, but really enjoy seeing my own personal progression from when I first started.”
As well as providing practical work experience, Apprenticeships also fill skills gaps for employers, who can train their staff to meet their specific skills needs. As a result Apprentices like Callum greatly increase their employability prospects:
“The skills and qualifications the Apprenticeship is adding to my CV are very beneficial. Without ACT I wouldn’t have this opportunity and wouldn’t be working with Cardiff University. I’ve wanted a job like this for 3 years, and I really felt like it wasn’t going to happen for a while. With ACT, I have not only become an Apprentice, but am able to do a job I really enjoy and have met some great people as a result.”
With ACT offering a highly-skilled team dedicated to ensuring learners achieve their career ambitions, Callum has also found the Apprenticeship experience hugely supportive:
“My assessors have been very helpful, and the tasks they have set me have been really good for me as I have researched different topics and learnt new things. I feel my Apprenticeship couldn’t be going any better, as my employers and ACT have been fantastic. Cardiff University have been great with allowing me time off from work so I can attend workshops. They understand that through me learning new skills with the Apprenticeship, it will directly benefit them.”
Like thousands of other young Apprentices ACT supports, Callum is directly benefitting from learning while he earns. With all of ACT’s training programmes, whether it is a Traineeship, Apprenticeship or Higher Apprenticeship, you can learn on the job, achieve nationally recognised qualifications, earn a wage, gain skills and build a rewarding career like Callum.
Speaking about his goals for the future, Callum commented, “After I finish my Level 2 qualification, I hope to move onto the Level 3. I feel that it will strengthen both me as a worker, and also my CV. I feel very lucky to have this job and I know I will definitely become more employable because of this Apprenticeship.”
If you’re inspired by Callum’s story and think an Apprenticeship could be for you, then check out our Apprenticeship vacancies here. We have hundreds of vacancies available with top Welsh employers, who are looking for talented young candidates like you. What are you waiting for? Apply now.