It's National Apprenticeship Week, and to mark the occasion, Matthew Harbuz and Sophie Thompson share their experiences, having both joined as apprentices in 2015.
Meet Matt Harbuz:
Matt joined as an IT apprentice in August 2015, whilst doing a level 3 BTEC diploma at West Nottingham College. In the 15 month duration, Matt would spend one week a month at the college and undergo observations from the college, and continue to submit work to complete his course.
On completion of his apprenticeship, Matt was kept on, and now acts as an IT assistant as his role continues to develop and expand with his skillset. Having now nearly been in the role for 3 years, Matt offers support for users, including active directory and microsoft exchanges, and continues to adapt to Fraser Brown's changing software demands.
"For me, an apprenticeship was a great stepping stone between education and employment," says Matt. "It was a gradual transition and very eye-opening, and I've been fortunate to have great mentors in Sarah Jerrome-Harris and Robin Davies who work alongside me, and have helped me in gaining new skills.
"Apprenticeships can give you a heightened understanding of the workplace, pace and demand. Now, with a permament position in the firm, I can take what I have learned and put it to good use. Apprenticeships give another level of understanding to your role, and can ultimately determine if the role is right for you."
And Sophie Thompson:
Sophie also joined Fraser Brown in 2015 as an apprentice, whilst doing a business administration course at West Nottingham College. The apprenticeship, initially set out to be a two year course, was completed in 2016 as Sophie went from strength to strength. Sophie has progressed from being a Business Administrator to a Junior Secretary in her time at Fraser Brown.
Sophie now provides valuable assistance to fee earners, whilst also offering dictation services using bespoke software.
"My apprenticeship experience with Fraser Brown has been very positive. I most enjoy the fact that I'm continually posed with new challenges, and that someone is always willing to help should I need it. We have a very supportive team, and this extends from the junior to the most senior of positions," says Sophie.
"University is a great route and provides many opportunities, but apprenticeships aren't to be overlooked. Employers get fresh insight from apprentices, and apprentices learn valuable on-the-job skills, which makes for good relationships which often result in permanent employment."