7th-13th February 2022 is the 15th annual celebration of National Apprenticeship Week!!
This week, all across the country, we're celebrating the value, benefits and widespread opportunities that apprenticeships bring to employers, individuals, and the wider economy.
The theme for 2022 is ‘build the future’; which is a reflection on how apprenticeships benefit both apprentices and organisations, through development of knowledge and abilities, resulting in a talented workforce who are equipped with future-ready skills.
Banner's apprenticeship story
In 2018, we introduced our apprenticeship scheme and it continues to grow in popularity every year.
Banner have had 22 employees complete apprenticeships since 2018, including 4 new employees. Currently, we have 35 employees completing an apprenticeship – 32 of which are the upskilling of existing employees, and 3 are new employees who joined Banner in order to do their apprenticeship.
All 4 past apprentices continued their employment with Banner after their apprenticeship had been completed. As a company, the plan is always to take an apprentice on in a permanent role after they finish their studies in order to continue to support them and their development in their full time role.
It’s the passion, inquisitiveness and eagerness to learn that makes apprentices valuable to us as an employer. They bring new ideas and a different perspective, which benefits the business. Furthermore, investing in our existing workforce helps us not only to retain talent within the business, but also to support the personal development of individual employees; a win-win situation!
Banner is one of the largest business supplies providers in the UK, with offices located across 7 different locations. We work closely with local colleges, such as Bradford College and New College Swindon, to offer apprenticeship opportunities in a wide variety of sectors including sales, customer service and marketing.
Check out out latest vacancies and apprenticeship opportunities, here.
Meet the apprentices...
We rounded up a few of our apprentices and asked them about their experience of completing an apprenticeship while working at Banner, to discover how it’s helping them build their future.
A bit about them:
Amy joined Banner in July 2021 as an HR Support apprentice, and is currently 6 months in to her course.
Victoria began her Level 3 Digital Marketing Apprenticeship journey with Banner in January 2019, completing it in July 2020, and has just celebrated her 3 year anniversary with the company.
Clive is currently undertaking his Level 5 Operations/Departmental
Manager Apprenticeship, which began in May 2019. With COVID-19 government lockdowns causing delays in his apprenticeship, Clive is pleased to be back doing his course again alongside his role as Studio Manager.
Why did you decide to do an apprenticeship?
Amy: I had always been interested in an apprentice route rather than university as I feel learning on the job and gaining work experience whilst working towards a qualification would be most beneficial to me and my career.
Victoria: I was originally doing A Levels at a college in Swindon, and after struggling to keep on top of my A Levels, someone suggested that I investigate apprenticeships. I explored different apprenticeships within marketing and was lucky enough to find a course with the same college I was already familiar with. This seemed like a better path for me than A Levels, as I couldn’t wait to get hands-on experience.
Clive: I was invited to join a presentation regarding modern apprenticeships – which finished with a recruitment campaign encouraging us to enroll. Having completed my first apprenticeship nearly 40 years ago, I was delighted at that point, as supported by my manager and the company, I enrolled into a Level 5 Operations/Departmental Manager Apprenticeship.
What are the benefits of doing your apprenticeship?
Amy: The course itself is very engaging, it's relevant to the work I do at Banner and allows me the flexibility to complete my day-to-day tasks and do the work for my course alongside.
My training development officer offers one to one support, has given me amazing advice and is always looking for ways for me to improve and develop. The cohort I am with is full of people from different backgrounds and companies allowing me to gain connections and information about the way other companies work. The research project I complete each month has also given me a great opportunity to speak to senior members of the company and gain their knowledgeable insight.
Victoria: There were many benefits and enjoyable aspects of my apprenticeship. It was creative, I had a lot of freedom with the assets I was creating and work I was doing. I was creating everything from website pages, to blogs, and was collaborating on other projects with my team and I enjoyed the flexibility of attending college one day per week.
Clive: I devote 20% of my work time to my apprenticeship and am really enjoying the challenges it is offering me. The skills I have gained from these sessions show it is never too late to learn – I have been able to apply new techniques to overcome management issues – and have gained deeper insights into the reasoning behind them, as well as company decisions – and also been able to use these skills as part of my day-to-day management both up and down the “chain of command”.
Finally, would you recommend an apprenticeship to others?
Amy: Definitely! I am excited to see where my apprenticeship will take me and for my future within the company. This is a massive steppingstone towards one day achieving my goal of becoming a HR Advisor.Victoria: I would definitely recommend an apprenticeship to anyone, especially those who are more practical learners or those who just aren’t enjoying where they currently are.
It is such a unique experience of working in either an office or on a site, as well as studying and being able to complete a qualification at the same time. Not many people get the opportunity at the age of 16-18 to have a full-time job in areas such as marketing, which is why I think it is such an amazing opportunity. It may be hard work, but the hard work is worth the outcome.
Clive: I would thoroughly recommend an apprenticeship to anyone. There is so much to be gained for your personal development, career and the opportunity to stretch yourself. It is something that will follow you through your career, and demonstrates a willingness to get involved and work hard at something.
A big thank you to Amy, Victoria and Clive for taking the time to talk about their apprenticeship experience. For more information about apprenticeships, visit Apprenticeships.Gov.uk and look out for new apprenticeship opportunities at Banner and the evo group by following us on our social channels, and by visiting our careers page.
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