Written by Bethany Pritchard, apprentice HR administrator at Selwood Housing Group
Before starting an apprenticeship, I think everyone starts with worry. Consistently worrying about how to manage the apprenticeship programme and a full-time job; could it really be possible? All whilst earning a wage?
My name is Beth and I have been with Selwood Housing for just under five months now as an apprentice HR administrator. Those exact thoughts used to rummage around in my head but through writing this, I hope to not only squash any fears you might have, but also to show how an apprenticeship at Selwood Housing Group has really jumpstarted my career.
I’m currently completing my CIPD Level 3 Human Resource Practice Diploma at Wiltshire College and University Centre, which allows me to gain a greater understanding of the role of the HR function. Within my team at Selwood Housing, we provide HR advice, work on a range of HR processes; from recruitment through to retirement, provide relevant HR information to the business, and work with the business and staff on organisational changes. Delivering front line support to managers and employees, the HR role is to use policies and current law and give guidance and support to staff, and ensure the organisation operates within these employment laws.
The HR support apprenticeship equips individuals with the behaviours, practical skills and knowledge required to become an HR professional. While working, I study eight modules, designed to provide knowledge of a broad range of HR functions in effective people management, policies, procedures and practices in the organisation.
Day-to-day, I go through administrative tasks and take the lead on onboarding our new starters here at Selwood Housing. I work alongside the HR team, learning how to be a successful HR professional. Being able to apply the learning’s from my course to my job has really helped increase my confidence.
I chose to do an apprenticeship with Selwood Housing, as their track record of involvement within the community has always appealed to me. Whilst I am not in a team that’s active in the community (and with lockdown restrictions limiting this possibility), I’ve had the opportunity to spend time with different teams who have given me insights into their roles. For me, this has really shown how much Selwood does for each and every one of their customers. Within my role, it is then about ensuring employees feel trained, supported and welcomed within the team so that they can give a great experience to our customers.
My favourite thing about Selwood Housing is the ethos of the teams; each member of the team makes you feel valued. Overall, my team have really made me feel settled and welcomed, even in the short few months I have been here.
They support me and regularly keep in contact while we’re all working from home, not only to coach me through policies and HR procedures but also for our daily huddles or when we catch up for a weekly virtual tea break. All the while helping me to embed the knowledge I am learning throughout my apprenticeship.
I chose to do an apprenticeship to jumpstart my career within HR and all the worries I had before starting an apprenticeship? Totally disappeared. The flexible working at Selwood and the support from my team throughout my studies has been so welcoming and refreshing. Working alongside experienced HR professionals enables me to go to my colleagues for advice and support, both with my job and with my college work.
This apprenticeship position has really shown me how you can apply knowledge learnt in a course in a real-life setting and not only that, but you can do it in a job you really enjoy. I’ve built on my confidence and learnt valuable transferable skills that will help me throughout my career.
For the future, whilst I am not 100% sure what I want to be, I wish to build on these skills and to become a part of the “people profession”, whether that is working through a small organisation or a large one. Employee engagement and having people feel trained and safe within their role right from the onboarding process is important to me. But for now, I am making myself more employable, through an industry-recognised qualification and gaining experience in a variety of projects.
If you have ever had doubts about an apprenticeship, whether you have a million questions or just one, Selwood Housing Group can always help.