Building a sustainable talent pipeline – Part 1

National Apprenticeship Week

This week is the 13th annual National Apprenticeship Week here in the UK.

Over the past decade, the number of apprenticeships has grown dramatically and with an ever-changing business landscape, work-based learning has become arguably more important than ever for filling skills gaps in UK workforces.

Apprenticeship schemes offer a number of tangible benefits for both individuals and employers, as well as the community and wider economy and offer young people an alternative route into the workforce, acknowledging that traditional education is not the only path to success.

To mark the occasion, today and Thursday, we are delighted to celebrate this year’s theme of “Look Beyond” by showcasing two of our former apprentices who are now blazing their own career trail within the company:

CASE STUDY 1

Brooke Sanderson
Vehicle Contract & Finance Administrator

Brooke started working at Inchcape Fleet Solutions in July 2016, at the age of 17, as part of a twelve month apprenticeship programme, run by Cosham-based training provider, PETA. After successfully completing her apprenticeship and passing the Customer Service Diploma with distinction, in August 2017 Brooke was offered a permanent role within IFS as a Purchase Ledger Administrator.  In December 2017, Brooke then moved into the role of Toyota Financial Services (TFS) Cashier before starting her current position as Vehicle Contract & Finance Administrator in December 2019.

What made you choose to follow this career path? 

At school I particularly enjoyed business studies and accountancy and I have always had an interest in the financial aspects of how a business works and operates. This interest then led me to take business administration at college, which I really enjoyed. When I left college the obvious next step for me was to find an apprenticeship in business administration/finance where I could learn first hand how a business operates and grows.

How has the apprenticeship benefited you?

The apprenticeship and the training I received (both on-the-job and classroom training at PETA and Highbury College) enabled me to gain an in depth understanding of how accounts work in a real life business environment and across various departments. The apprenticeship scheme at Inchcape Fleet Solutions has really helped me to develop my career and given me many great opportunities along the way, such as working in all of the finance transaction departments and gaining an overview of all areas of the business.  On completion of the apprenticeship I was then able to fully understand how the business operates.

What are the rewards of doing an apprenticeship?

One of the main rewards of an apprenticeship is that it provides a salary whilst training and enables you to learn a lot because you are able to learn in a real life operating environment.

By gaining recognised qualifications, various options are then open to you, including carrying on studying in the future and gaining more career opportunities.

An apprenticeship will improve your employability and help you fulfill your earning potential.

What are your career aspirations?

My career aspirations are to finish my AAT Professional Diploma in Accounting (Level 4) and then eventually progress to become a fully qualified chartered accountant. I would also love to gain management accounts experience within the business.

Do you have any advice for future apprentices?

I would definitely recommend an apprenticeship to anyone looking for a progressive career but I would advise picking a company that has a progressive path and that has a good training policy in place to enable you to grow and develop. So do your research and make sure the employer you select wants to invest as much in you as you do in them.

DESCRIBE YOUR APPRENTICESHIP EXPERIENCE

I thoroughly enjoyed my apprenticeship experience here at IFS because it enabled me to take responsibility, gain hands-on experience in various roles across the business and learn directly from my colleagues whilst earning a salary.  The whole learning experience has prepared me well for my current role where I am still learning new skills and in the future I hope to go on to become a chartered accountant.

Stay tuned for Case Study nr. 2 on Thursday, when you can meet another of our former apprentices who is now following an Account Management career path within the company.