While progression within business is something Zenith and most employers hope for, transitioning to a new company is also a natural and celebrated part of career advancement.
For most, employment change can mean a new role, set of colleagues, location and workplace aims to familiarise. For an apprentice in the middle of a work-based apprenticeship programme, such a move has additional challenges and implications, as employer, job-role and learning are so interwoven.
Ideally and usually, an apprenticeship programme is completed from start to finish with a single employer and with the potential to progress within the company as a permanent employee. However, very occasionally, an apprentice may arrive at cross-roads in employment. One such example was Level 2 Business Administration Apprentice, Leah Murray Furlong.
Leah worked through the majority of her qualification in one role, before she made an employer-transition due to the unavoidable circumstances of company restructure. Tutor Liz Stevens recalls her at the start of her programme, ‘Leah overcame initial struggles and progressed well. Following training and encouragement she was able to complete work independently and to a high level.’
An apprenticeship can only be completed while in a suitable job-role that supports the course content and candidate’s development needs. Therefore, a change in employment for an apprentice requires much guidance from their training provider – to support the learner, avoid a break in learning and work within the transition period permitted by regulations. In this instance, a candidate could easily become disengaged from their programme, if it wasn’t for a strong relationship built with their tutor(s) and provider.
Liz explains, ‘Leah was able to contact myself and Phil McAuley (another Tutor) directly to explain and came into the office to discuss her next steps. We looked into getting her placed with another suitable employer, and she applied for jobs herself’.
Admiring Leah’s work ethic during this time, Liz explains, ‘[she] worked extra hours at her Saturday role at St James Park, and made time and effort to work towards her Maths and ICT’. During this short period between apprenticeship roles, she was able to sit and pass both her Maths and her ICT level 2 with ease’.
With support and determination, Leah soon secured a suitable role working in the finance department at Tor-Coating, who are the UK-leading designer and manufacturer of interior and exterior building protection products. To support a smooth transition, Liz recalls, ‘Phil and I liaised closely with her new employer, to organise off-the-job training, book in tuition and assessment appointments and ensure her new role and induction training embedded into the remainder of her apprenticeship aims’.
Leah continued to work really hard in her new role and by the following month, she was able to complete the remainder of her apprenticeship. Upon receiving her certificates, Leah got in touch with Liz and Phil to express her gratitude, ‘I just want to say a massive ‘thank you’ to both of you for helping me finish, eventually! Over the moon and couldn’t have done it without all your help’. In mutual appreciation Liz exclaims that she and Phil ‘are very proud of her dedication to the apprenticeship and her determination to see it through’.
We are delighted to learn that Leah is progressing well in her new role, having just enrolled on a Level 3 Business Administration apprenticeship programme. Leah’s story is a wonderful reminder of the power of strong tutor-learner relationships and how motivation and determination in the face of uncertainty can help achieve goals.
When done Leah! All of us here at Zenith wish you the best of luck in your new role.