“I’ve learnt how to organise events, network with people and deal with clients on the phone,” says Vanessa Stidever, who is in the midst of a one-year QA apprenticeship in Business Administration at Middlesex University.
Vanessa, who joined the Global Corporate Engagement Team straight out of sixth form, must develop these skills and more to create a portfolio of work-based evidence in areas such as managing an office facility, participating in a project, and learning the principles of leadership and management.
“A typical day for me involves answering emails, helping to organise events that are coming up and assisting the director and other people in the team,” Vanessa explains. “They’re really lovely – it’s like a family.”
With 60 per cent of her portfolio completed, Vanessa is already thinking about the future.
“I have applied for university, but I might apply for another apprenticeship that has a degree associated with it,” she says.
Degree Apprenticeships will come into their own when the government introduces its Apprenticeship Levy in April 2017, although Middlesex has already begun to introduce them into its learning portfolio in areas such as construction and aviation – enabling those in work, including those with significant experience, to gain a university degree, progress their career and contribute to professional body membership.
“Apprenticeships are an ideal way for people to get practical experience in an industry environment while working towards a qualification and earning a salary,” explains Global Business Support Manager Samantha Owen.
“They can be tailored to specific job roles – making them flexible to the needs of the business rather than just a generic programme. Our very own apprentice Vanessa has proved to be an active and dynamic member of our team and has exceeded expectations in her role, so it’s clear that it’s not just the students who benefit for these types of qualification.”