National Apprenticeship Week 2021

11 February 2021

6 minutes to read.

Carpenters Group are celebrating National Apprenticeship Week! We would like to say a HUGE thank you to our amazing apprentices who are all a crucial part of the Carpenters team.

Here are two blogs from our apprentices, Lizzie & Bobby Jo-

Read Lizzie's Story:

"The programme I am completing is HR Level 3. I have been experiencing the Human Resources role at Carpenters as part of my apprenticeship since the start of October and I am now over 4 months in to my learning.

So far my experience, working for Carpenters and completing my apprenticeship studies, has been thoroughly enjoyable. I feel fully supported by the HR team, as well as by my Apprenticeship coach, which has made my experience really pleasant. Usually I would be completing this course by being in the office and going to the apprenticeship meetings face to face, which has been impacted massively by COVID, however I have found working from home during my apprenticeship much better than I thought due to the communication and support I receive by my manager, team and coach. This experience of learning and completing a level 3 course is much different than it would’ve been any other year, yet I’m so grateful to have this learning experience because it has helped me adapt to changing environments and become exposed to greater HR issues that even the rest of the team haven’t experienced before. I believe I have been able to witness more complex situations and resolutions than I would had I joined at an earlier/later date and I am so thankful for that and the knowledge it has given me.

I completed my A levels in June 2020 and chose an apprenticeship, rather than University, as I didn’t see myself enjoying doing a degree and was eager to get to work. I think being given the opportunity to experience a role first hand as well as furthering my learning is an opportunity like no other and will really improve my ability to multitask, allows me to engage with professionals and experience the role I would like to pursue a career in. By completing my apprenticeship at the end of the year, I am hoping to continue and experience my role in Human Resources and (with a bit of luck) progress and further my career with Carpenters. I am hoping to complete this apprenticeship and succeed in passing so that I can prove to myself that I am capable of doing what I want to pursue and prove to others that you don’t need a degree to have a successful and long career.

I would encourage anyone who has not heard of apprenticeships, not looked into them or is unsure what they would like to do – at any stage of life – to research and get an idea about how they work. I was unaware of the opportunity apprenticeships offer and naïve to think they were for people who weren’t as academic. I was quickly proven wrong and would hate for someone to miss the chance of looking into an alternative option than University or a career they don’t feel is right for them."


Read Bobby Jo's Story:

"My current role is a level 3 CILEX paralegal apprentice in the serious injury team at Carpenters via BPP University. My role recently changed to a legal assistant which means I now directly assist a very experienced solicitor who is keen to support and aid my learning in any way that she can. Had I gone down the traditional University route I imagine it would have taken me a lot longer to secure a role in such an experienced and valued team due to the lack of experience I would have had.

I find my role is very rewarding in that I am always learning new and transferable skills and no two days are the same. My colleagues and in particular my manager, Carol Hopwood and Nicola Jeanrenaud are very enthusiastic in providing me with opportunities to help me learn and develop as a paralegal apprentice and I could not be more grateful for the support I have received to date. I feel privileged to have had this opportunity and gained such valuable experience and knowledge within a short amount of time.

Upon completion of A Levels in Law, Psychology and Sociology I chose to look into apprenticeships mainly as a backup plan.  It was during my interview I had a moment of realisation that the apprenticeship route could open so many doors and I found myself intrigued by the work my now manager and her assistant discussed that I left wanting the job more than when I walked in.

I started my role in July 2019 and in August 2019 received my A Level results securing a place to study Law at the University of Liverpool. However, by that point I had concluded the experience I was gaining was a key requirement for any successful legal career.

I realised that not everyone legally qualified attended University and that I didn’t need to either. I am now just over 18 months into my role and have had the chance to work alongside people of varied legal experience and most importantly those who have taken various routes into their careers differing from the traditional University route.

As I have said before I believe that going to university and academicals ability no longer secures you a job in the way it once did. Experience is a desirable skill within this industry and this route has enabled me to learn from a curriculum as well as legal professionals in an everyday environment. That environment now being via Teams, WhatsApp video calls and standard telephone calls which is of course the new norm.

My training is delivered by BPP University through a virtual platform known as the ‘VLE’. I attend this training one day a week and work from home the remaining four days. I am also required to produce a portfolio alongside the training to demonstrate that I have developed necessary legal experience. This is then assessed upon completion of the course and the exams are sat after each module. The virtual training really helped with the transition to home working during the pandemic in that I was already used to learning online and it was one less thing to worry about.

Having always thought I would have followed the traditional career path into law until I believe I am definitely in a position to recommend a legal apprenticeship. There are of course advantages and disadvantages to both routes. One of the main advantages to the apprentice route is the ability to learn without having to worry about any debt. A disadvantage could be that time management can be difficult as you must maintain a high standard in both work and studies. The traditional university route entails summer holidays and the student experience whereas an apprenticeship is full time work with limited holidays as per most full-time roles. I personally believe this was the best route for me, it allows me to develop my passion to learn and study whilst working, earning and developing professional relationships.

Subject to successful completion of this course in September 2021 I am very fortunate to say that Carpenters (with support from my manager, Carol Hopwood, and Andy McCormack the apprentice Co-ordinator) have agreed to fund the Level 7 Solicitors Apprenticeship which is also offered and delivered by BPP University."