AdamAdam is Head of Projects Delivery in our Estates Division. He is doing an apprenticeship in Operational / Departmental Management.

 Why did you decide to use the apprenticeship route to gain a qualification?

 After almost 20 years in the same industry and a couple of promotions, I realised that since leaving university I had not received any formal training, coaching or additions to my CV.  The job I am doing know is worlds away from what I started back at the beginning of the millennium. It is a traditional story that I am sure a lot of managers will relate too. You show that you are good at something, so your company gives you more responsibility…. But not necessarily with any training or upskilling, so you learn as you go. The apprenticeship scheme is a great opportunity to meet with likeminded professionals from all walks of the business world, to refresh and learn new skills, discuss ways of working and importantly, it is fully supported by your employer.

How are you managing to balance the 20% off the job training requirement with the demands of your job role?

This headline really worried me when I started out, but actually, what it means is that 20% of your day job needs to be relevant to the course that you are undertaking. For my programme, this includes one day a month attending a training course in a classroom, but the rest of the time is down to you to demonstrate. I set aside an hour every morning, first thing, to work on assignments or update my CPD log.  You have to be self-motivated and disciplined with your time. 

What skills have you gained from the programme so far?

The main one must be the philosophy behind management- the ideas on which leadership are based and how to spot these in your workplace. The tools that you discuss at the workshops or research are well-known and used, but why use them and which is best for different personality types and the outputs required? Someone related it to driving. You can learn to drive relatively easy, but do you understand how the car works? If something went wrong, would you know how to fix it?

What advice would you give colleagues who might be considering this route?

1. Speak to someone who is on the course you are considering. Is it what you thought it would be?

2. Think about what else is going on in your life, i.e. have you got time to dedicate to it? If you have just moved jobs or started a new role, work will take precedent over the course.  If you have a young family, can you identify quiet times to do the work?

3. Make sure the programme is relevant to the job you are doing currently- apprenticeships will require evidence of how you apply the core skills to your daily job. If you can’t provide that evidence then you will struggle.