Case Study - Leah

Tell us a bit about yourself.

"I am Leah and I started in October as a Business Admin Apprentice. Before applying for my Business Admin Apprentice role, I was studying Business in College. I studied Business for two years whilst also working in retail as a part time job for three years. During my time in College, I gained a real interest in HR which led me wanting to peruse a career in HR. After College, I was preparing to study HR Management in University however, I still wasn’t sure University was for me and in the July before I was due to start, I saw the Business Administration Apprenticeship advertised.  After finding out information about the Business Admin Apprenticeship, I thought it was a really good opportunity to gain experience within a large organisation that prides it’s self on what they do, and gain a recognised qualification at the same time."

How did you feel when you got the apprenticeship with Cheshire Police? 

"After attending an assessment day, I found out really quickly that I was successful and I was kept in regular contact with and received really good communications about the next stages and when a start date was likely to be. During this time, I was asked if there was a specific department I wanted to be located in. I found this to be really good as it gave me the opportunity to have a look into the different departments and express any interests I had. I expressed an interest in the HR department. On my first induction day, I found I was in the HR department and was going to be part of the Wellbeing and Engagement team."

How did you find your time with the police?

"I was really enjoying my job and found there were lots of support from my line manager and other team members from the beginning.

"During the 12 months of the apprenticeship we could apply for permanent jobs and after being here for a month, a job for a HR Assistant came up however, due to only being here for such little time I wasn’t sure whether to apply for the job due to lack of experience. After speaking to my colleagues they advised me I had nothing to lose by applying for the job so I decided to apply as I was sure it was what I wanted to go into. I was invited to interview and was successful. This meant I had the job as HR assistant and would move teams to Recruitment and Promotions where I am currently working and I started this at the end of November.

"I am still continuing with my apprenticeship which my team are really supportive about. To ensure I manage my work and studying at the same time, I put aside one day a week where I will complete all apprenticeship work. If I have a deadline coming up, I will also set aside one afternoon a week to ensure I have the time to look over all my work and submit everything on time. My team are really supportive about this and always ensure I have enough time to complete all my work."

What opportunities has this role given you?

"Being part of the Recruitment and Promotions team alongside completing my apprenticeship has given me many opportunities such as being involved with the recruitment of PCSO’s, PC’s, Specials, Transferees and the promotions of PC-Sergeant, Sergeant- Inspector and many more. It has given me the opportunity to attend Careers events at colleges and schools, assist on interview panels and work with different teams within HR.

"Completing the apprenticeship has given me the opportunity to visit other parts of the organisation such as the Tactical Training Centre to see what type of work they do and what they train for, I have visited Safety Central where I learnt about fire and got to experience real life fire situations which is good experience as we work closely with Cheshire fire. I also have the opportunity to visit and shadow different departments which gives an insight as to what other people’s roles involve which gives the opportunity to develop in my own role. From my experience, this has helped me develop my skills and knowledge unlike anything else I have experienced. We meet with a trainer from Total People once every other week who supports us with our assignments and guides us through our apprenticeship and starting with a group of people helps as it means we are all experiencing the same things at the same time and helps you to gain a really good friendship with the other people in your group.

"I hope to continue progressing in my role and experience all the different departments within HR. I also hope to complete a CIPD qualification once I have completed my current Apprenticeship to enhance my skills within HR. This will hopefully allow me to progress in my role to a higher level."