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15-02-2018 - Louise Horan - News - 0 comments

Firstly, I want to start off by saying how grateful I am to have had the opportunity to complete an apprenticeship.

I left school at 16 years old with absolutely no idea of what I wanted to do as a job/career or where my life was going to lead me. It’s a really confusing time in your life where you can feel pressured into making decisions because you feel as though time is ticking, and with each minute that goes by you’re missing out on the chance to do something great. I was working in a hair salon at the time so thought – Yeah sure, I enjoy this so I might as well keep this up! Wrong – As much fun as it was, I knew deep down it wasn’t the right choice for me. So I tried something different. Performing Arts – Completely different! That didn’t last long either before I realised yet again, this wasn’t the right choice for me. So what now? I kept asking myself that question over and over again and still couldn’t decide what it was I wanted to do as a career. Thankfully after speaking with an Advisor, she directed me to a training provider named Heart of England Training and suggested enquiring about an apprenticeship in Business Administration. Two years later I was awarded a NVQ Level 3 in Business Administration and had successfully secured a permanent job at a recruitment agency, the very same agency that took me on placement as an Apprentice with no knowledge or experience in this field. Fast forward 10 years later and I’m now a Team Leader, working with an amazing team of Administrators (who are all current and former Apprentices!) and Sales Consultants in a company that I had always aspired to be a part of. It’s incredible to think that little girl who left school back in 2005 and had no idea of where she would be 10 years later is now secure, content and HAPPY in work. So because of this I would like to thank all of the Assessors of Heart of England Training (H.O.E.T) in Coventry and everyone else who has advised, encouraged and supported me along the way.

As a former Apprentice I see the importance and value of creating a pathway for the next generation, so they are able to be successful just like the rest of us. Within our team we have two Apprentices who are working towards an NVQ Level 3 qualification in Business Administration and here’s what they had to say about their experience of completing their placement with Smile Education:


“I started to look into apprenticeships as I thought that they were a great idea because you get paid, you get really valuable experience and you even get a qualification at the end of it. I found this idea much more motivating than going to college.  I find recruitment a very fast paced, fun environment to be in. There’s always something going on, and you’re always kept busy. I enjoy all of the different types of people we work with, and I think it is just an all-round super interesting sector to work in. During my time at Smile, I’ve never had a bad experience. All my training has been extremely useful, and I feel comfortable with my role, and I’ve had fantastic support in the time it has taken for me to get to this point. All my colleagues are extremely friendly, and I’ve never felt unwelcome e by any of them. Every event I have attended has been fun, and I’ve always enjoyed myself. I would definitely recommend an apprenticeship, they give you experience, responsibility, and I think they’re great for people who aren’t sure what they should do when they leave education, or even for people who want experience in a new sector.”


“I am currently half way through my apprenticeship and I have learnt a lot of things about what it takes to work full time, which has helped me increase my confidence, improve my computer skills, and also improve how I communicate with others. So far at Smile, my experience here has been amazing! The training I have received from the company has been very effective in the way of making sure everything is completed correctly, and this is something which will help to put me on the same page as the rest of the workforce. The colleagues at Smile that I work beside are incredible and are always making sure I am getting on fine with the workload I have each day. The events that we host are also very useful and relatable to what we do as a company, while also making sure they are fun for both the children and the parents. Without a doubt, I would definitely recommend doing an apprenticeship. Being able to learn while working and also improve on the skills that you may have gaps in is an opportunity for everyone to take.”

If you would like to find out how you can be part of a team that offers Apprenticeships or general career progression, then we would love to hear from you! For more information please don’t hesitate to get in touch by calling 0121 210 5022.


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