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It's National Apprenticeship Week from 7 - 13 February, and this year's theme is 'Build the Future'. The annual celebration highlights the important work being done by employers and apprentices across the country. 

Let's talk apprenticeships 

Our first apprentice joined us in September 2018 and since then, we've had 28 apprentices, including nine who have completed their training and gained professional qualifications.

We launched our apprenticeship programme to support the government's initiative to get more apprenticeships in business, but for us, it's also about harnessing and developing skills for the future.

An apprenticeship is a great opportunity for personal development and a stepping stone to bridging the gender and ethnicity pay gaps in our organisation and wider society, particularly in senior roles.

The best part is that apprenticeships are open to everyone, no matter your age. 

So, what are the benefits?

There’s plenty of benefits to taking on an apprenticeship, like earning a salary and gaining a qualification. In fact, 20 per cent of your time is spent learning either at college, online or through internal projects. Learning in a real working environment can often provide the best experiences.

We understand that the pandemic has changed the way we work and learn, but that doesn't have to interfere with gaining a new qualification, and technology can help you pursue your ambitions.

An award-winning employer

In 2019 we were awarded Apprentice Employer of the Year at the Croydon Business Excellence Awards. And in October 2021, all three of our entries made it through to the regional finals in the National Apprenticeship Awards. 

Congratulations to our finalists: 

Izzy Reynolds, our Contact Centre Adviser who completed her Customer Service programme.

Robert Nawrocki, our Office Services Assistant who completed his Office Services programme 

Grace Nebbett-Sales, our Trainee Resolutions Case Handler who's currently doing her Pensions Administrator programme.

Who can do an apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are open to both existing employees and new recruits. 

Training programmes typically range from 12 months to four years, and you can opt for an entry level apprenticeship right up to a Master's degree.

We’ll be sharing some of our apprentices personal experiences this week, giving you the opportunity to discover what's involved and what you can expect.