Apprentice name: Daniel Hornby
Employer: Citizens Advice Bureau (Millom)
Course Undertaking: Business Administration
Apprentice’s background and circumstances
Apprentice – I attended Millom Comprehensive School until 2007 and then went on to study at Furness College. Here I undertook a BTEC National Diploma in Information Technology which took about 2 years. In order to earn some money I started doing part-time bar work in a number of pubs around the Broughton in Furness area. This then developed into a full time job in one of the pubs but this didn’t last long as I was made redundant. I was unemployed and claiming Job Seekers Allowance but wasn’t progressing forward in terms of gaining employment. When the opportunity came along to undertake an apprenticeship I jumped at it, as I felt it was the right way forward for me at that particular time. I felt it was a way of gaining a qualification and some work experience and was a better option than applying to go to University.
What progress have you made and what are you hoping to achieve?
Apprentice – My main aim is to achieve the Business Administration apprenticeship and I think I am on track with this. I have just undertaken some technical certificates which contribute to the overall qualification. I feel I have made some positive progress in relation to skills required in the job. I wasn’t used to filling in forms previously or answering the telephone in this kind of environment and I found it difficult at first in what to say and how to advise clients but this has become easier over time. I have experienced some difficult situations with clients, but due to my training I feel I have handled them well. I don’t have a long –term plan of what I would like to do next, but it would be nice to be kept on at the bureau if this was possible.
Employer – Daniel was very quiet when he first started at the Bureau but over time he has become more communicative and he has eased himself into his new work environment. Skills that have been acquired while he has been with us are telephone techniques, reception duties and dealing with clients. He didn’t have the experience in these areas initially but he is now fully up to speed. His timekeeping is excellent and he very flexible in his approach to work – nothing is too much trouble! Daniel has learnt about the Bureau’s policies, procedures and issues around confidentiality. He is mixing with staff and volunteers from a wide range of backgrounds and ages which we feel he is benefitting from. He is currently completing ‘Gateway’ Training (this is a short assessment of clients to establish whether they are to be seen by a generalist or specialist advisor).
Has there been any barriers / obstacles in place which you had to overcome?
Apprentice – Initially I didn’t understand enough about what services the Bureau provided. I wasn’t sure what to do or how to do it and it has taken me some time to settle in. I feel I am getting on with everyone but share common interests with Chris and Jordan who are based down our Whitehaven office. I have come to realise how issues such as debt, welfare benefits, etc, can affect people and that they are real life – not just things you see on television or read about in the newspapers. My family are very supportive about the apprenticeship. I have some in-depth debates with my dad about welfare and housing benefits – he thinks he knows what he is talking about but I always end up putting him right!!
How has the apprenticeship affected your life? What has been the best thing about the apprenticeship to date?
Apprentice – The main thing I have learnt through undertaking the apprenticeship is being able to deal with customers especially when in difficult situations. I feel comfortable when these situations arise and in an organisation like this, it can be quite often. The best thing is that I have found a job and am undertaking training at the same time, which is a real bonus. I also have an income each week which is important.