National Apprenticeship Week: Meet our apprentice and manager!

Kitty is currently undertaking the level 3 L&D Practitioner standard, and is being supported by her manager Lyn.

Kitty, can you tell us a bit about yourself, and what made you want to start an apprenticeship:

I’ve worked in the L&OD team for eight years now, and enjoy how every day is different, and that I get the opportunity to meet a wide range of staff across the University. I love being part of the team, so this apprenticeship seemed like a natural step to help me gain even more knowledge about Learning and Development.

What does your apprenticeship involve?

I have a number of practical workshops that I attend, roughly every 6 weeks, and from these I get assignments to complete. I combine self-study with moodle, and check-ins with my tutor and mentor. It works well as it allows me the flexibility to combine learning with my job.

How is it helping you?

The apprenticeship is giving me more confidence in my work, along with giving me in-depth knowledge of what goes in to creating and delivering training courses. It also allows me to network with other L&D practitioners, as we are a combined group with SAGA, and it’s nice to see how different industries approach learning.

What would you say to someone thinking of undertaking an apprenticeship?

Firstly, make sure it’s the right thing for you, it’s a big commitment and requires a lot of motivation. However, it is well worth it, as it is a great way to gain qualifications whilst still working!


Lyn, tell us a little bit about yourself:

I’m Lyn McBriar and have worked at Kent for almost two years as a Learning & Organisational Development Consultant. My background is in executive leadership development and coaching. I have a team of four and work closely with colleagues elsewhere in HR and more broadly with schools and departments across the University.
Who are you supporting, and what are they undertaking?
I’m delighted to be supporting two of my team, Jena Dady and Kitty Fairweather, as they work towards their Apprenticeships. Jena is working towards Level 5 and Kitty towards Level 3, both in Learning & Development. SR is our chosen provider, supported by the specialist skills of HR experts CHRysos.

Can you tell us a bit more about how you found out about apprenticeships, and what it’s like having two of your team undertaking one?

I worked for some years in various private sector service organisations, where Apprenticeships played a big part, so I’ve always been very aware and supportive of the benefits they bring.
I’d definitely like to give a ‘shout out’ here for Kent’s Employee Apprenticeship Manager, Loretta Izod, who (as well as being very welcoming when I joined Kent in 2018) took time to offer her support and guidance on the practicalities of not just one, but two, members of my immediate team wanting to develop their skills, knowledge and experience via the Apprenticeship route.
I’ve been interested to observe how Jena and Kitty have each approached their Apprenticeship differently, exploring the various options and selecting which learning channels suit them best.
Kitty has a colleague in the wider department who is also working towards the same qualification, which leads to productive sharing of experience, and Jena has actively engaged with colleagues in other organisations to network and support each other’s development.
We have had excellent opportunities elsewhere in our team for colleagues who have acted as mentors and coaches throughout.

How are the apprenticeships helping you?

I am passionate about learning anyway (which is why I choose to do what I do). So I genuinely enjoy informal and more formal check-ins with Jena and Kitty about their learning and their reflections on how individual and group sessions, assignments etc have gone.
It’s encouraged me to remember that we all learn in different ways and that how I might approach a certain situation or assignment may not be the best option for the person directly engaged in it.

Loretta Izod is your Employee Apprenticeship Manager
T: 01227 8 16568 E:
Loretta specialises in supporting employees who want to understand how their careers can benefit from undertaking an Apprenticeship.
Use the contact details to get in touch with Loretta to arrange one to one advice, or set up a team meeting for further information and discussion.