National Apprenticeship Week is with us once again, and from Monday 6th – Saturday 12th February, colleges, employers, career advisers and thousands of students are celebrating the opportunities and achievements that apprentices all over the country have been a part of.
The annual, Government-run initiative is an important event that shows people some of the great work that apprentices do, as well as the positive impact they have on communities and businesses, all whilst learning from real-life experiences, advancing their careers, and getting paid.
Here at Elite Leisure Collection, we’re proud to be part of the thousands of businesses in the UK that offer apprenticeships and have partnered with award-winning provider Estio. We’re passionate about fostering the talent of young individuals who are keen to develop their skills and knowledge in an industry they love and to celebrate, we’re putting the spotlight on two of our employees who started their journeys with us last summer.
Elena is our Digital Marketing Apprentice, and Terry our IT Support Technician. We sat down with them to gain an insight into their experience so far…
Elena: Hi! My name is Elena Van Leeuwen and I’m a Digital Marketing Assistant and have worked at Elite Leisure Collection as an apprentice for seven months.
Terry: Hello, my name is Terry Antoine and I’m an IT Support Technician. I’ve been an apprentice at Elite Leisure Collection for seven months too but worked as the group’s food and beverage supervisor beforehand. Collectively I’ve worked here for almost four years!
Tell us about your apprenticeship scheme, what was the onboarding process like?
Elena: The onboarding process was great – everything is done online so there was an introductory video call where I got to meet my classmates, teacher, and line manager who explained where we could go for help and advice and ran through what we could expect from each module. I’m given dedicated study time and since the beginning, I’ve just felt so supported.
Terry: I agree. Since starting the course, my manager Ward and apprenticeship line manager Will have given me a lot of support which was a relief as I walked into this with no experience at all – they’ve been great.
Why did you decide to do an apprenticeship?
Elena: I loved the idea of stepping into the working world whilst getting a qualification, to me it was a no-brainer. The great thing about apprenticeships is the real-life experience you gain – it makes the course relatable and drives me to do better in my studies.
Terry: I’ve always loved IT and the potential career growth in the industry really interested me, but I didn’t have any experience. An apprenticeship gave me the chance to learn something new, in an industry I loved, whilst starting a successful career!
What have you enjoyed most about your apprenticeship?
Elena: How varied my job role is! Within the group we have four businesses, so no two days are the same. From Bewl Water to One Warwick Park Hotel, I’ve been exposed to so many different types of marketing for each brand which I can then apply to what I learn in the course. So far, I’ve had experience writing blogs, designing print materials, and running social media campaigns.
Terry: The freedom and support! Elite Leisure Collection is so excepting of the learning process – I’m not expected to be at the same level as my manager and I’m encouraged to ask questions, make mistakes, and learn from them. I’ve received so much guidance and I love that.
Where do you hope your apprenticeship will take you in the future?
Elena: I always want to learn, and I always want to build – I never want to be ‘comfortable’ I want to be pushed and hope my apprenticeship will do this and help me grow within the company.
Terry: I agree. I hope my position grows here and I become a well-respected senior member of the IT team.
Would you recommend apprenticeships to others?
Elena: Yes! But be prepared to work hard. You need to balance your apprenticeship and the responsibilities you have as an employee. It’s difficult but so rewarding!
Terry: Definitely! Just remember to ask as many questions as you can and soak up every moment – it’s a great experience.