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Churchill supports National Apprenticeship Week

At Churchill, we appreciate the reciprocal value that apprentices can add to our business and that we can add to their careers. We offer apprenticeships in a number of disciplines from broad facilities management to specialisms like HR.

It’s National Apprenticeship Week and we are shining the spotlight on some of our colleagues that are enrolled on our apprenticeship programmes.

The personal stories below show that there are no barriers to advancing one’s skills, knowledge and career prospects. Apprenticeships are not just for school leavers, instead they are inclusive and offer opportunities for personal development to people at many stages of their working lives.

Paul Cole-Cahart
Our account manager Paul Cole-Cahart, who covers the Devon and Cornwall region, works partly from home and partly traveling around his sites, but alongside his day-to-day role he is also studying for a level three in facilities management – equivalent to two A-levels.

Before he joined Churchill, he worked at a garden centre and in the catering industry.

‘I enjoy my account manager’s role a great deal,’ he said. ‘It can be challenging, particularly fitting in time to study for my course alongside my other work, but it is all good and interesting and I am enjoying both my job and my course.

‘The apprenticeship programme is very beneficial to the work I am carrying out now and I constantly see now the course work applies to the things I am doing every day.

‘I hope it will also help me to progress in my career within facilities management.

‘I am also very impressed that Churchill cared enough about my development to suggest I undertook the course, and I am grateful to the business for doing so.’

Carolina Costa
‘After spending a long time in the cleaning industry, I felt the need to develop different skills and widen my knowledge in the wider facilities management world.

‘I had a conversation with our training department and after explaining I had already completed a level two apprenticeship before I joined Churchill, I was advised to go for the level four in facilities management.

‘The whole process was straightforward and easy. After seeking approval from my line manager and completing the necessary forms, I was sent all the information from the provider.

‘I started last August and have already gained so much knowledge, and most importantly, having my client as one of my mentors has strengthened our relationship. I feel I am better equipped to assist them as well as understand their needs and expectations. Managing assets, people, developing and implementing delivery plans, budgets and finance management are among the many subjects of the course.

‘I expect to come out of this apprenticeship with better skills and ideas to improve the management of the account I am responsible for.’

Jackie Knight
‘Even at 50 years old, I still felt slightly inadequate because my education ended with school. Though I had worked my way up through numerous businesses, my lack of further/higher education was always at the back of my mind.

‘Joining Churchill’s apprenticeship programme was a way of making a difference, but the thought of an apprenticeship made me nervous too. Would learning with a bunch of youngsters make me feel ancient? And would I be able to keep up; would I understand the lessons; would I add value?

‘After talking to a few people, our very own Harry Wentworth being an inspiration, I decided to be brave and sign-up. I use the word brave, because at my age, that’s what it was. I was helped through the sign-up process, which was relatively straightforward, and I was supported by everyone.

‘I had my induction with tutors in December and they were really friendly and helpful. They talked me through the systems they use, the lessons I would have and, overall, what to expect.

‘I’ve now had my first two classes and the great thing is… I totally understand everything they are talking about. It turns out that my experience and age are more valuable than I thought.

‘The class I am in is really varied in terms of age range, skill sets and job roles and this makes it more interesting; a lot of my class friends are from the NHS, so learning things from their perspectives is fascinating.

‘It is a lot of work over a two-year period (though you can complete it in one), and at the end I will get an industry recognised Project Management (PM) qualification that does not need to be updated, which is great.

‘This will support my role in Churchill, which means I will be able to use this every day and add more value to the PM group.’

Mark Reay
‘I completed my level five Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development qualification and a BA (Hons) in leadership and management as part of my resettlement from the armed forces. I always intended to take that development further and I aspired to complete a level seven qualification at some stage.

‘I have two learners in my team going through apprenticeship programmes and this piqued my interest as to what was available and possible. As a company, we pay a significant amount into the Apprenticeship Levy, and I believe we should make best use of the training opportunities wherever possible. That prompted me to enrol on a level seven senior people professional course.

‘If successful on the programme, I will achieve a level seven CIPD qualification. Given that I came to the HR profession late in life, this will give me some personal validation that I have continued to grow. As a father of two young boys, I’m also very keen to show them that learning doesn’t end when you leave school and that if you want to be the best, you often have to take that leap of faith and commit to further education/learning. It will take you out of your comfort zone, but it will be rewarding in a number of ways.’

If you have enjoyed reading these apprenticeship insights, there are more personal stories available on the site. Meet:

Aaron Blee | Morgan Clark | Daniel Furtado | Anthony Gibson | Kirsty Gregory | Phoebe Hickinbottom | Joseph Hunter | Erin Landells | Chris Lockyer | Fiorello Maffei | Safa Yasin