National Apprenticeship Week 2021

Step One Charity Apprentices, Emily and Maisie in 2021.

This week is National Apprenticeship Week! We’ve had some great people join Step One through an apprenticeship scheme. Here we share the story of one of our current apprentices, Emily, and we hear how Maisie joined the Step One team in a new role once she had completed her apprenticeship.

Emily’s Apprenticeship Story

“Hi! I’m Emily and I’m working at Step One as an apprentice. I joined Step One in November 2020 and I am working as a Customer Service Apprentice in the Corporate Team.

Before I joined Step One, I was studying for my GCSE’s and working hard to gain knowledge around business and looking to use my skills within a customer service role. I saw the apprenticeship role advertised on the Exeter College Apprenticeship page and applied for the role instantly – I read the details about Step One and was really interested in their ethos.

I decided to start my career with an apprenticeship as I love learning new skills and gaining experience, and I wanted to put my GCSE knowledge to the test! I also think that an apprenticeship is a great way to meet new people and learn while you work.

A typical day for me would be answering telephone calls, processing feedback forms and creating weekly newsletters for the staff to enjoy, along with various other office duties. The thing I love most about my job is answering telephone calls because it’s great to help people get the information they need to carry out their day.

Starting an apprenticeship during a national lockdown has been a very different experience for me, but it is going really well. I am working from home but still engage frequently with other staff members in virtual meetings and via email. I am gaining knowledge daily and learning lots of new skills.

If anyone else was thinking about starting an apprenticeship, I would tell them to go for it! It is a great way to learn new skills meet new people, and gain knowledge about what it is like to work in a business environment.

I’m hoping my apprenticeship will lead to a permanent role at Step One because I have really enjoyed my first few months of working here.”

Maisie’s Apprenticeship Story

“I joined Step One in September 2019, as an apprentice. As of January 2021, my job role is HR and Training Administrator.

I completed my degree in History at Plymouth University and tried a few jobs after Uni, but I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do and quickly realised that having a degree doesn’t actually open a lot of doors for you!

I had a bad experience with a job I took which knocked my confidence massively. Then I came to Step One!

I chose the apprenticeship because I needed the confidence and I felt it would be good to learn work-related skills. I had left my previous job feeling like I wasn’t good at anything and in a way really just wanted to start from scratch again. I also knew I wanted to work for a charity and that’s why I applied at Step One.

I liked that I gained so many skills and grew in confidence. Step One and Exeter College really wanted the best for me, and I felt that the whole way through my apprenticeship. I’ve also met some of the best people along the way.

My current role is as HR and Training Administrator. I’ve been doing it for just over a month now and I’m really enjoying it – I’ve already learned so many new skills in such a short amount of time. It’s a great opportunity and I can finally see a career happening for me!

Everything I learnt from my apprenticeship I have taken into my current role – from the practical skills I gained at College to learning all aspects of the organisation. Doing admin allows you to get to know every part of the business and so going into my new role I have so much knowledge of how everything works.

I’ve received so much support from Exeter College and Step One that nothing has ever been really tricky. I am quite an anxious person and have struggled with that at times, but with all the support I have received I was able to deal with that and get on top of it.

To anyone thinking about an apprenticeship, I would say do it! They’re a great way of learning new skills that you can take forward throughout your life and will open so many doors. I wish I had done an apprenticeship sooner!”

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