Meet the Apprentices

The University of Birmingham Apprenticeship scheme is in its fourth year and is going from strength to strength. We are committed to providing first class on the job training, giving individuals the skills, experience and behaviours needed to strive in their department or line of work.

Harry Bamber - IT Fundamentals

Why did you decide to do an apprenticeship?

I wanted to do an apprenticeship after I left Sixth Form as I wanted to gain practical and relevant work experience within the IT industry, as well as wanting to earn a salary while working and learning.

Can you describe your apprenticeship experience?

I loved every minute of my apprenticeship - I really enjoyed the experience of working at the University as well as working with excellent collegues.

How has your apprenticeship helped you to progess in your career?

Upon completing my apprenticeship, I have worked in multiple teams across IT Services at the University, from working on the IT Service Desk answering the phone or working on the front desk, to managing Microsoft 365 for the entire University. If I hadn’t done an apprenticeship at the University, I wouldn’t have an awesome role that I enjoy and love!

Abbie Cooper - Communications

Why did you decide to do an apprenticeship?

I decided to do an apprenticeship as, being a recent graduate, I wanted to gain a good level of experience in a workplace that suited my career interests, whilst also working towards a qualification. The job market is extremely competitive, especially for young people, and I think the experience gained from an apprenticeship helps you to stand apart when applying for future roles.

Can you describe your apprenticeship experience?

My role was within the Marketing and Communications team in the College of Social Sciences. From the first day, I was immersed into the team and given an increasing level of responsibility as I gained more skills and confidence. I went from doing tasks such as creating a weekly e-newsletter, to planning and project managing large scale events for the University. I had a fantastic experience and worked alongside a really inspiring team of people.

How has your apprenticeship helped you to progess in your career?

Without starting my career at the university as an apprentice, I would not have been able to progress to where I am now. I have since worked as the Digital Marketing and Communications Officer for the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences and am now a Marketing Officer for the College of Social Sciences. The apprenticeship provided me with the right skills and confidence to start a career, it truly was an invaluable experience.

Zac Ellingham - Mechatronics Maintenance

Why did you decide to do an apprenticeship?

Knowing that I wanted to earn a living while still continuing to obtain qualifications after leaving Sixth Form, an apprenticeship was my ideal option allowing me to learn on the job, gain new experiences and kick start my career as early as possible.  Doing an apprenticeship helps you obtain new skills and techniques that can be applied directly into the workplace, while also opening up opportunities for further education after completion.

Can you describe your apprenticeship experience?

My first year mainly involved being at technical college 5 days a week, undertaking practical and classroom work to complete my level 2 qualifications where I learnt lots of new skills and met lots of other apprentices from other companies. From there, I integrated into the Estates Maintenance Team where I gained a variety of experiences while still continuing to complete my Level 3 qualification plus other training courses relevant to my role.

How has your apprenticeship helped you to progess in your career?

Though I have not finished my apprenticeship yet, I know that upon completion I will have the options to hopefully progress further within the university or elsewhere in the industry. Though apprenticeship titles are specific, you develop lots of transferable skills that can be applied across multiple disciplines. Furthermore, with the basis of a Level 3 qualification, there will always be options to progress onto Level 4 or even degree apprenticeships.

Stephen Garrett - Communications

Why did you decide to do an apprenticeship?

After graduating from the University of Birmingham with a Sport and Exercise Sciences degree in 2017, I was keen to start a career in Marketing and Communications. Due to the competitive nature of this area of work, and without a degree in this field, I took the conscious decision to apply for an apprenticeship as I recognised their many benefits. During my apprenticeship, everything was focused towards my own development. The progressive nature of the apprenticeship allowed me to progress and learn at a quick but manageable pace.

Can you describe your apprenticeship experience?

Throughout my apprenticeship I was exposed to a wide variety of projects and events. This experience has given me an expansive knowledge of the teams, processes and people involved in making this university the successful institution it is and always has been. As I became more experienced I was introduced to more complex projects from different members of the team, taking on more responsibilities. These projects primarily focused on website design and development, internal and external event administration, as well as social media development and strategy.

How has your apprenticeship helped you to progess in your career?

My apprenticeship has been pivotal to both my personal and professional development. The experience and knowledge of not only marketing and communications specific processes, but University wide processes, has allowed me to progress into a full time role. The apprenticeship scheme undoubtedly provided me with the perfect opportunity to start a career in the area of work I am most interested in.

Stephen Garrett Staff Photo

Martha Gaytten - Business Administration


Why did you decide to do an apprenticeship?

I decided to do an apprenticeship because I wanted to open doors in my career whilst achieving a vocational qualificaltion. The idea of being able to use my intelligence in a non-traditional academic way appealed to me massively because I knew I’d be able to earn whilst I learn, and gain incredible experience and knowledge in all sectors of professions. Having completed an apprenticeship in civil engineering before my business admin apprenticeship, I can’t recommend apprenticeships enough for those who want to further their skills and career development.

Can you describe your apprenticeship experience?

My experience at the University of Birminhgam as an apprentice has been highly beneficial for me in many ways. I have developed my social and communication skills, had opportunities to work with different teams in the university to spark interests in my future career path, and have been fully supported in every step of my journey by my manager, team and apprenticeship advisor. I have been able to get involved with many projects in and out of my typical role and network with internal and external members of staff, which has really enabled me to make my mark.

How has your apprenticeship helped you to progess in your career?

Due to all the amazing opportunities and responsiblity I was given by my manager, I was able to rise to many challenges in the School I worked in, and quickly developed into a valuable member of the team. After 7 months of my apprenticeship, an exciting job came up as Head of School PA. Despite not having completed my apprenticeship at that time, I applied for the job and was successful. I was supported by the School and my manager in the succession of this role, which meant I was able to complete my apprenticeship whilst securing a permanent job that I love.

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Faileigh Harriott - Teaching Laboratory Technician

Why did you decide to do an apprenticeship?

I decided to do an apprenticeship because I felt like it matched my learning style more than University as it is more practical and hands-on learning but you still get to attend college classes and have time to research independently. Also the benefit of having a job whilst training and gaining a qualification was more appealing because it offers more security and there are more options for personal development with employee benefits, such as the POD courses. 

Can you describe your apprenticeship experience?

My experience so far has been very positive. There is so much support received by Caleb and my line manager which really helps put me at ease. The opportunities I have had so far on the apprenticeship scheme have really helped develop me as a person and given me valuable skills and experiences for my future career. 

How has your apprenticeship helped you to progess in your career?

My apprenticeship has helped me progress into my career by allowing hands on experience - doing the job itsself rather than just learning about the role has allowed me to settle in a lot faster and develop the skills a lot faster than I would have if I went to university. The training, support of my assessors and extra opportunities such as apprentice events and the Coniston trip has really helped devlop me professionally in my job role. 

Jade Willetts - Customer Service

Why did you decide to do an apprenticeship?

I struggled to balance full-time education with a part-time job in college and needed a way to earn whilst I learned— an apprenticeship was the perfect way to do so. I had unconditional offers for university and had even started a shopping list for my new flat, but I knew deep down that it wasn’t for me. I searched ‘Environment Apprenticeships’ and found the perfect role. I knew that I would have a competitive edge when applying for roles in the future, possessing both relevant experience and recognised qualifications.

Can you describe your apprenticeship experience?

Prior to my apprenticeship I was a very quiet individual with a limited skillset. Over the course of a year, I was exposed to areas of business which I would never experience in a standard job. As I progressed, I began to lead on projects, organise events, deliver presentations, and enhance my workplace skills. Upon completion of a Level 2 Customer Service Apprenticeship, I secured a permanent position with a brand-new job role. When I was presented with the opportunity to undertake the CMDA, I grabbed it with both hands and didn’t look back.

How has your apprenticeship helped you to progess in your career?

As a younger person with less experience, it was daunting to imagine joining such an established workforce—especially considering many university staff are very experienced and highly educated. My apprenticeship was a perfect way to ‘get my foot in the door’, and kick-start my career. Having my achievements acknowledged at the BUAFTAs has really enhanced my profile at the University. It dawned on me that I was easily one of the youngest people in the room, and to be recognised (and taken seriously) as an individual among 8,000 staff was an unbelievable feeling. 

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