Friday, 10 March 2017

Fifi's Apprenticeship Story

Fifi Bula 

We interviewed Fifi Bula who is an apprentice in the Education and Skills department. Read Fifi's inspirational story below.

How did you get into the apprenticeship?

I previously volunteered at City View Children Centre for almost a year and at Brighton Job Centre for a few months, at the end of my volunteering period at the Job Centre my advisor suggested I searched for apprenticeship roles in administration. I have to admit, I was a bit sceptical about the idea but decide to give it a try. I went on the council website and came across a Level 2 in Business administration. I applied for my role with very little knowledge and a lot of misconceptions on apprenticeships. But after reading the job’s description for the role, I believed it to be suitable for me.
What’s been the most rewarding part of your apprenticeship so far?
Fifi with the Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills at 
the House of Commons for National Apprenticeship Week 2017
During my period of unemployment I remembered how I would constantly remind myself that I need to find a fulfilling job, not a ‘dead-end job ‘ or something simply to make ends meet. As a mother, providing for my children is crucial but I remember the following quote by Steve Jobs “The only way to do great work is to love what you do”. I felt very comfortable in my new role as an apprentice as some of the tasks were quite similar to those in my previous volunteering roles. I am extremely lucky to be working with some amazing people. In my role I support my manager providing services to schools and liaise between Schools and the Service providers. I work in a dynamic and often very demanding environment but the support from my mangers, colleagues and my assessor from City College has been extraordinary, I have now completed my Level 2 Business administration and I am progressing onto Level 3. Onwards and upwards!

What are the rewards of doing an apprenticeship?

My apprenticeship has helped me develop skills such as oral and written communications skills; I have learnt to balance and manage workload and mainly to prioritise. I do love being a mother but I believe to be so much more and through my apprenticeship  I’ve found a new  sense of purpose , providing services to schools all through the city makes me feel  valuable and reinforce a sense of belonging. It’s a privilege to be able to work while learning; gaining a qualification while earning a living. It’s a win - win situation and the feeling and satisfaction it brings is indescribable.

Would you recommend apprenticeships to others?

I would definitely recommend ‘Apprenticeships’ and certainly advocate to others. Through my work I have met others apprentices who have accomplished amazing things and many who are on their way to achieving their goal and realising their dreams.  I have not decided what my next step will be but I am enjoying the journey so far. Working full time and being a single parent can be challenging but with the right support system, I now realised that when I started my apprenticeship I was far from understanding what I was getting myself into… I underestimated where my apprenticeship could take me.  I realised that I can exceed my own expectations, sky’s the limit!

Apprentice Technical Support Officer - Sajid Rahman

Sajid and the Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills

Sajid Rahman 

Age: 19
Apprenticeship: Technical Support Officer
Qualification: Level 2 Business Administration 

Before my apprenticeship I went to BHASVIC college to study my A levels. I studied maths (pure and mechanics), biology and physics. After college when weighing up my options I realised that I did not like the university type studying with lectures and that I prefer to learn whilst working.

I currently work for Brighton & Hove City Council as an Apprentice Technical Support Officer in Regulatory Services. My day to day tasks involve answering the phones, processing job sheets for offices, going out on site visits that range from noise complaints to pest control and licensing inspections.

I am currently undertaking a Level 2 Business Administration course with City College in Brighton. After my I complete my apprenticeship, I hope to progress further in the business environment and take on higher apprenticeships.  

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Transport Projects Apprentice - Mairna Marzoug

Mairna Marzoug

Age: 18
Apprenticeship: Transport Projects
Qualification: Business Administration Level  2 

Before my apprenticeship I studied A-level accounting, maths and physics at BHASVIC College. I really enjoyed the subjects that I was doing and the different opportunities that they had on offer to develop your skills and gain more experience.

 I realized that a lot of the work I was doing was in preparation for exams, whereas I wanted to focus on skills and experience that I could carry with me into a professional working environment. I also wanted to be able to have more time to learn and overcome the new challenges that come with working professionally. Therefore, this apprenticeship was a great opportunity as it was in the sector that I was looking for, and it was a happy middle ground between college and work.

My day-to-day tasks include general administration tasks e.g. minute taking, reporting data, handling mail, writing emails and using the phone. In my job I am also given time to complete my college work, I am undertaking a Business administration Level 2 which is run by City College in Brighton. My favourite project I have worked on so far has been the ‘Breeze up to the Downs’ Project where I get to experience the marketing side of the apprenticeship. I work alongside my manager as we liaise with the designers for the leaflets, planning the contents of the various leaflets for each season, as well as producing distribution lists and taking minutes for the group meetings.

I am currently in the early days of my apprenticeship; I want to explore the different apprenticeship options for the future, such as a Level 3 Apprenticeship in Finance which Brighton and Hove City Council offer. 

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Apprentice Support Officer - Joshua Fahimifar

Joshua Fahimifar 

Age: 18
Apprenticeship: Support Officer
Qualification: Level 4 Business Administration

Before i started at the council I worked in retail and IT sales and attended college. I had studied Design in my first year and didn’t do the best, so after one year of doing A-Levels I decided to study carpentry at City College. I became a qualified carpenter but really didn’t think it was for me and decided to look into an apprenticeship at the council as my friend had done one and has been quite successful. I applied for the role of Apprentice Support Officer and got the job!

I chose my role as I was interested in the aspect of Project Management and wanted to learn more about the way Project Management is done within the local council. I also thought it would be rewarding delivering various projects and producing work that is valued to others. So far so good! I am really enjoying it right now.

City college run my course right now and my mentor is great. I get all the support I need and the feedback of my work is really good.

In my apprenticeship I help senior managers with work they may have, which is different all the time. My role in the team is supporting our team drive modernisation within the council and contributing to high level work. I also produce presentations that go along to senior level managers, as well as attending meetings, and taking actions from them.

After my apprenticeship I hope to do another Project Management Role such as a junior position, but right now I’m focusing on my qualification.

Monday, 6 March 2017

Transport Projects Apprentice - Jonathon Martin

Jonathon Martin

Jonathon in a meeting
Age: 22
Apprenticeship: Transport Projects Apprentice
Qualification: Level 2 Business Administration

Before my apprenticeship I mainly worked in bars after I left college and I briefly did a stint as a Call Centre Representative.

After I moved to Brighton I decided to further my education. Unfortunately, going to university and earning wasn't an option, so I looked at other opportunities.

An apprenticeship gave me the best of both worlds, and allowed me to study Business Administration whilst also working in a relevant environment, gaining skills and qualifications. 

My apprenticeship involves various tasks that change week to week. For example, I have spent the last week attending a National Standards cycle training course, learning how to train people of all ages to cycle safely on the roads. The week before that I took minutes at meetings for a variety of exciting projects that are being planned. 

Once I have completed my apprenticeship I am looking to take my newly acquired skills and knowledge and put them into practice, either here at Brighton & Hove City Council or in the private sector.

National Apprenticeship Week 2017

This week is National Apprenticeship Week 2017 which celebrates the positive impact apprenticeships have on individuals, businesses and the economy.

The apprentice ambassadors will be doing a variety of things to celebrate apprentices and spread the word about apprenticeships.

Throughout the week there will be case studies posted onto the Apprentice Ambassadors' blog. These will be of current council apprentices talking about what their apprenticeships involve, what they were doing before and what they would like to do after they have completed them.

Apprentice Ambassadors will be going to City College's open evening on Wednesday. They will be speaking to people about apprenticeships, what they are, how you can apply for one and the vacancies that are currently available at Brighton & Hove City Council.

The Ambassadors will also be visiting Cardinal Newman as part of the school's careers week. They will have a stand where pupils will be able to talk to the apprentices and ask them any questions they may have on apprenticeships.

On Thursday afternoon, the council apprentices are holding a graduation ceremony. Hosted by the council's Chief Executive, Geoff Raw, current and former apprentices who have completed their apprenticeships will be invited to celebrate one another's achievements and receive graduation certificates.

To keep up to date with what the council apprentices are up to and more things happening for National Apprenticeship Week check out our Facebook and Twitter pages.