Meet the Apprentices - 1 Year On
Mason - Customer and Office Support Apprentice
15th - 21st May is Learning at Work Week. This year's theme, Create the future, explores how lifelong learning at work can help us all personally and collectively create our futures – from achieving life and work goals, to shaping our lives, communities, and the world, to driving innovation and achieving organisational ambitions.
In 2022, Mason shared his experience of being an apprentice at Devon County Council (DCC) from only a month. This year Mason reflects on his experience after being at DCC for one year.
My name is Mason and I was appointed at DCC in April 2022 in Adult Social Care service in the Involvement Team as a Customer & Office Support Apprentice. I am completing a Level 2 Customer Service Practitioner Apprenticeship. The year for me has gone in a blink of an eye, I have learnt so much about myself both as an individual in how I work but also how the council runs and what career development is out there for me.
A bit about me
I use to work in an primary school working with challenging behaviour and additional needs children and wanted a change in career and to see what other opportunities are out there in a larger organisation. I applied for DCC as I felt it covers a range of professions that would allow me widen my knowledge and career progression; I couldn’t of been more correct. I have learnt so much about how the council runs and how many roles there are behind the scene that I wouldn’t of even imagine were needed.
I definitely feel the switch in career was the best decision for me personally as I feel that DCC has given me a healthy balance of work and personal life as the Council offers flexibility in work hours, working both at home or in the office. This has been able to give me a more active and social life as it is such a flexible organisation.
I provide office support for my internal team and also external customers. This can include things as taking minutes in meetings, setting up meetings/forums and any general enquires they may have. What I like most about my role is that we cover a range of Adult Social Care services including elderly, Autistic adults, learning disability and difficulties; no day is the same which keeps the role fresh and repetitive.
I am very fortunate to be a part of such a supportive team that over the year have been available if I needed any extra support in a piece of work or a general enquiry.
For me, the balance between my official job role work and my apprenticeship work has been very easy to manage as I have never felt the apprenticeship work is difficult or overwhelming. However, on the rare occasion if have been behind on work or cutting it close to deadlines, my team have been more than accommodating and allowing me that extra time if needed.
Through my apprenticeship work, I have found my new way to work as they helped me discover a part of me that I have always had concerns with; my tutor noticed the difficulties I had structing my work and the spelling/grammar errors I was displaying in my work; I expressed that I have always had this difficulty in English but no matter how hard I tried/studied in school I could never reach my potential as I knew the answers in my head but couldn’t get it down on paper. My tutor was very supportive and reacted quickly and was able to organise a Dyslexia assessment for me which confirmed I had Dyslexia. This moment really changed my work life as I had finally understood why I struggled all these years and now will be able to put the reasonable adjustments in place that will allow me to succeed in my career; this is all thanks to the apprenticeship team at DCC.
My individual team have been very supportive with this also, my line manager even took the time to sit down with me and go through the Dyslexia assessment together to understand how to better support me.
My tutors have been more than supportive with this and were very accommodating to my needs which allowed me to have extra time if needed to complete longer assignments.
My time at DCC has been amazing and there is nothing I would say negative about position I have been in for the past year. I really feel I learnt so much whether it be general knowledge on how the council operates, my individual practical skills that I have developed in my role or how to structure pieces of work through my apprenticeship which I can apply in my future career. I am hoping to develop further and apply for a position in level 3 in Business Administration apprenticeship if it was to come up in the council as I am very happy and content in the organisation and the support it provides.
Customer and Office Support Apprentice