Apprentices at Kent – meet Diba

Existing employees accessing the levy funding

Meet Diba who is a Student Accommodation Coordinator in Kent Hospitality and is currently undertaking the Level 3 Supervisory/Team Leader Apprenticeship.

Loretta Izod, Employee Apprenticeship Manager at Kent, asked Diba to talk about the experience of undertaking an Apprenticeship and how it  supports career and self development.

How did your career pathway bring you to the University of Kent, what is your position here and how long have you worked here?

I have worked within the hospitality sector since leaving school, my last role before joining the University of Kent was a supervisor at the Sun Inn in Faversham. The Sun Inn is Shepherd Neame’s flagship establishment and I enjoyed working in a busy front-facing environment. Due to the nature of the hospitality sector I found myself working very long hours and during weekends and whilst I enjoyed the work I wanted more of a work/life balance so I applied for a Receptionist role within Kent Hospitality. After 2 and a half years I progressed to become an Accommodation Coordinator within the Accommodation Office.

How did you find out about this Apprenticeship?

I had read articles about the Apprenticeship levy funding scheme and was immediately interested in developing myself through further education whilst remaining in full time employment. I contacted Loretta Izod and we arranged a meeting to discuss how I could benefit from starting an apprenticeship. Loretta explained the process and we reviewed my job role to see which apprenticeship standards could work. After narrowing it down to two possible standards my manager attended a meeting with Loretta and myself. Loretta presented the two options and we discussed which would work within my job role and agreed on the Level 3 Team Leader, apprenticeship.

Which Apprenticeship are you under taking and which training provider is supporting you?

I am undertaking the Level 3 Team Leader Apprenticeship with a CMI Level 3 Diploma in First Line Management. Canterbury College is the training provider which is local and convenient.

Why have you decided to use an Apprenticeship to support your self and career development?

I decided to use an apprenticeship to support my career development by learning whilst still in full time employment. It suited my existing level of qualifications and offers me flexibility to earn a full wage whilst I am learning new skills. My ambition is to manage a team within a large organisation and I believe that by completing the apprenticeship it will assist me achieving my goal. Whilst my role gives me some experience in being a team leader this course will teach me explicit skills I can use in my career.

Can you explain how your Apprenticeship works, eg what sort of training do you do? Who is your mentor?

My apprenticeship requires me to attend 16 sessions at Canterbury College, this is every other week. I study independently for 5 hours over a 2 week period, this involves working on assignments, reading around the topics we are studying, benefiting from CMI’s comprehensive resources and researching my learning objectives. My manager and department support me by allocating me to 2 hours per week to study independently. This has been a huge help with the workload and I achieve a lot during this time.

I also benefit from the additional diploma that I am completing. As there is a lot of cross over from the Apprenticeship standard with the diploma we complete this alongside. It involves showing work place evidence of numerous behaviours and tasks. An assessor comes and visits me every 4-5 weeks and we work through the criteria I need to meet. My manager/mentor attends every other meeting to support and this gives them an opportunity to see how I am progressing.

My mentor is Sian Rowe, she is an Accommodation Coordinator and recently covered the Assistant Accommodation Manager role in a maternity capacity. She has offered me advice on in work situations that have assisted me with writing assignments. I can seek support from Sian as we work in the same office and she has attended meetings with my assessor.

What aspects of an Apprenticeship first caught you attention?

I was keen to develop myself through further education without sacrificing salary or too much of my personal time. This apprenticeship has given me an excellent opportunity to work whilst learning about ways to develop the role I do through an external educational provider. I am learning invaluable on the job skills and these can be implemented as I progress.

How did you find the relevant information you needed to decide if an Apprenticeship was for you?

Loretta Izod was the key to me finding out the information I needed. Loretta made it very easy for me to analyse my needs and she was also able to explain the whole process to my manager which increased the level of support for me undertaking the apprenticeship. I feel supported by my manager who is equally keen for me to develop myself through the apprenticeship.

Diba says “I feel lucky to be developing myself through the apprenticeship whilst receiving support at work. It has been really useful to learn about different management techniques which I can implement in to my day to day job. We often have discussions about my course content in the office and that helps develop my understanding.”

If you would you like to know more about Apprenticeship and undertake one like Diba, please contact Loretta Izod, your Employee Apprenticeship Manager

Ext 16568 or email – or Click here to visit the Kent Apprenticeships web page

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