Meet the Apprentices

Reuben Wheatley - Office Support Apprentice

Hi I'm Reuben Wheatley,  You may recognise me from the Ready When You Are Campaign! 

I decided to write this blog because I feel so incredibly lucky to have been given the opportunity to work as an apprentice for Devon County Council, and I thought my experience might inspire others to have a go!

I found learning a bit of a challenge and so when I left school, I wasn’t sure what to do next! I decided to go on College taster days and was thrown in the deep end when I was put into the seat of a tractor! Arr! I decided that wasn’t for me!

Instead I made the decision to do a Foundation learning course at Petroc College and had a brilliant time! I made new friends, did Drama, gained confidence and got qualifications in English and Maths!

I enjoyed the course so much that I decided to do another; this one was called ‘Project Life’. I learnt what a Job Description was, how to do a CV and lots of other employability skills.
This was also my chance to get some work experience. I already had experience working at Boston Tea Party which was amazing and I did some voluntary work with the British Red Cross but this was the first time I had to decide what work I was really interested in and I found this quite difficult, but I knew that I liked computers so I thought I’d give Admin a go. Luckily for me, I was offered an internship at County Hall within Adults Commissioning and Health.

I was so nervous on my first day at work, walking into such a large office was really daunting! But everyone was so friendly and I had the support of my job coach Jo and Emma, my mentor; so I soon loved coming into the office, seeing people I knew, having a chat and a laugh – It made me feel happy and included. It was a great experience for me!

At first I needed a little help to get to work but I soon learnt to travel independently catching a train and taxi to get there. This has made a big difference to how I get around at home, as I now feel confident to use public transport to get to my voluntary work, to do my shopping and to leisure activities.

I finished my College course and was offered an Apprenticeship in Business and Administration, at Devon County Council, working within the Commissioning Support Team. Since I started as an Apprentice I have learned lots of new skills including Excel which I’ve used to create spreadsheets.

I was over the moon when I was given the Apprenticeship. It’s so nice to be paid as it means I can treat my family to a meal out and buy things for myself like music. My favourite music is Little Mix and Steps- I’m hoping to go to a Little Mix concert one day!

I really love my work; my everyday tasks include printing, laminating, designing posters, creating agendas, spreadsheets, inputting data and word processing. I even received a certificate for having the “I for design”! My colleagues have told me that my work has really helped them and that makes me feel valued. I really like being a part of a team!

I think the ‘Ready When You Are’ Campaign is really good; as hopefully it will help other people like me, get a job.

Reuben Wheatley
Office Support Apprentice in Commissioning Support Team
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