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National Apprenticeship Week 2023

Pfp Apprenticeships

Join us as we celebrate National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) 2023.

The annual event, now in its sixteenth year, puts the spotlight on future talent and the positive impact that apprenticeships make on individuals, businesses, and the wider economy and Community.

Places for People are embracing this year's NAW’s theme of Skills for Life by reflecting on how apprenticeships can help individuals to develop the skills and knowledge required for a rewarding career.

At Places for People, we have so much to celebrate during National Apprenticeship Week. We encourage all internal colleagues to utilise our apprenticeships for developing their skills and actively recruit using our newly developed apprenticeship programme Skills Academy, where we are bringing apprentices into the organisation to address skills shortages within our departments. 

The passion for success and progression with Places for People has become our culture and it is never a surprise to hear when new starters join the business, just how positive and enthusiastic individuals are to offer their help. 

Apprenticeship at any stage

One of the biggest myths about apprenticeships is that they are for people starting their careers and only young people can complete them. The truth is, according to the Government, over 60% of apprenticeships are started at an advanced or higher level.

We recently caught up with some of our People at different career stages to hear how their current apprenticeships were going and how it has supported their career development.

Meet Sophie Quenby, our Head of Consortium Services. Sophie recently completed her apprenticeship for development and achieved a Distinction! Read how Sophie found her journey to success:

How do you think your apprenticeship for development has helped your career?

“I’ve recently been promoted, so it has helped my career massively!

“Completing the apprenticeship has made a huge difference for me. I found that I had started managing people but not necessarily understanding the best way to do this. It was important for me to learn how to be a better manager and leader.

“The apprenticeship gave me all the tools I needed and improved my confidence. I felt more comfortable in my role, more able to deal with situations better, and more willing to try new things.

“It’s a continuous learning process, so I’m now using courses on Places Academy and LinkedIn to solidify what I learned in my apprenticeship. I’m already looking at my next apprenticeship to complete.”

What is the best thing about your role?

“The fact that I get to have such a varied role. There’s marketing, budgets, and sales amongst other things and I love the mixture.”

Next up, we have Kya Williamson who is currently undertaking her apprenticeship in Business Administration and is excited to be developing her skill set.

“Becoming an apprentice is helping my career by teaching me a wide range of skills that will expand my knowledge and allow me to grow further within the company. On top of this, I am getting paid to further my career and earn a qualification.”

What is the best thing about your role?

“Being able to help a customer when they come to us for advice. Working with customers can be challenging at times but when I can offer help and turn a bad experience around it can be really rewarding.’’

Developing with an apprenticeship

Then we have Matthew Hewlett, who has been with Places for People for over 12 years. Matthew just recently completed a Level 5 in Management through our ‘Development through Apprenticeship’ programme. Since starting as a Gas Engineer in 2010, Matthew has progressed through the company to Gas Manager and with the help of apprenticeship programmes, he has had the opportunity to expand on his management skills and support his team to deliver the best possible customer experience.

Why did you choose to complete a Leadership and Management programme?

“In 2014 I completed a Level 3 qualification and found it just as enjoyable to take part in, as it was useful. Level 5 appealed to me, as when I was enrolled in this, I was relatively new in my current management position, and I was appreciative of the opportunity to add new management tools to my knowledge and enable myself and my teams to deliver the best possible customer experience that we can.”

How has the programme supported your career?

“I found the programme particularly useful and relevant, as my project for the course was based around the mobilisation of Derwent Living into the gas business. I led this project and was able to apply the lessons I had learned from previous experiences and my additional learning from Level 5 to provide a smooth transition. The programme was beneficial in supporting me in overcoming challenges. I was delighted to achieve a distinction and it supports me to progress further up the ladder. Did someone say Level 7?”

Heading up to Aberdeen, Dillon Gilchrist completed his New Homes Sales Apprenticeship in 2022 and is now a New Homes Sales Executive. Dillon raves about how the programme has helped his career at Places for People:

“I think the apprenticeship scheme helps you get a foot in the door. The working and learning split was easily identified and the support gained from managers and colleagues really made me feel at home and part of a team"

These are just some of our fantastic People who have experienced a positive impact from the various apprenticeship programmes available. We have found that offering apprenticeships alongside attractive job opportunities brings in a wealth of applicants who are capable of doing the job, and just need the extra support and knowledge that our training providers are thrilled to help with through our wide range of levy-funded courses.

If you are interested in applying for an apprenticeship at Places for People or know someone that would be, visit our website to view current vacancies or register your interest for future opportunities.