NOCN sets example as ‘responsible employer’ of apprentices
Posted 24 February 2017
As a top-three Government-approved Apprenticeship Assessment Organisation (AAO), NOCN has proved that it practices what it preaches. We’re pleased to announce that after completing two apprenticeships in two years with us, Alex Ashby has now been appointed as a full time Customer Service Executive.
As an employer, we strongly believe that apprenticeships are about much more than training employees to ‘do the job’. Putting an employee through an apprenticeship should be seen as an opportunity for long-term career growth. This also results in greater return on investment for the employer, which has a member of staff with the potential to progress and add further value to the organisation.
Alex has completed both a Customer Service apprenticeship and a Business Administration apprenticeship at NOCN, giving him key skills and, most importantly the ‘piece of paper’ he needed to secure a permanent role with a defined career path. He puts his success down to hard work because he had to fit his studies around the demands of a busy front-line role, studying in the evening and at weekends in addition to his on-the-job training:
“Now that I have been offered my new role, I feel that all the hard work has paid off, which gives me a real sense of satisfaction!”
Working in the Customer Service team, Alex deals with daily enquiries and ensures NOCN’s Centres are supported. Such a busy role required a flexible approach to learning:
“NOCN has been very flexible, letting me fit my studies around the role, taking time out to complete my course. Having finished my training, I feel appreciated for what I know and what I can do, I am properly part of the team.”
Sheffield-based The Source worked with NOCN as the training provider of Alex’s apprenticeship, which included regular training and activity reviews throughout the programme:
“My assessor Karen was great and really supportive. She met me every month, supported me through exams and made sure I kept on track.”
Alex’s line manager Natalie, is impressed with Alex’s performance:
“Alex is a valued member of the team; he has good rapport with customers and is always willing to get stuck in to do what he can to meet their needs. It’s great that he has completed his apprenticeship and is now a permanent part of my team, he’s a real asset."
NOCN has also benefited from the experience, as Natalie explains:
“Apprentices like Alex are closer to our end-user so their input is important. We need to know our apprenticeships are doing what they’re designed for - creating opportunities for meaningful and rewarding careers.”
Before he started at NOCN, Alex worked in various jobs yet wanted to gain qualifications to help him get on, so he applied for an apprenticeship. Now he has successfully come through the programme (twice!) he has the following advice for would-be apprentices:
“Do it, definitely. On an apprenticeship you get paid, you’re working and getting a qualification at the same time. It’s a win-win situation and a great way to get an education. The icing on the cake for me has been the long-term career progression opportunities to come out of it.”
Alex now promotes NOCN’s free ‘Apprenticeship Levy’ advice sessions for other employers; a scheme that will see a large increase in the number of new apprenticeships, as Alex explains:
“This is great, I now get to promote apprenticeships to employers so that more people like me can have the opportunity for a new career. If any employers want to know more, they should get in touch.”