Meet July’s Apprentice of the Month – Kia Watson
Believe it or not, we’re actually approaching a full year since we started our Apprentice of the Month Awards, with our first award won by Harry Blancke way back in August last year. Since then, the quantity and quality of the nominations we’re receiving have continued to be high which brings us on to this month’s winner, Kia Watson.
A change of career
Kia has been undertaking an NVQ Level 3 qualification in business administration as an Apprentice with Kent County Council’s South Kent Youth Offending Team in Folkestone since last October and was nominated by her manager Maria. Kia is actually one of seventeen apprentices in the workforce, so it’s really good to see the organisation recognise the values of an apprenticeship and offer young people these opportunities.
Kia’s path to an apprenticeship with KCC was quite unexpected, she had originally completed a beauty course at Canterbury College before working in a supermarket, and then eventually saw the vacancy with KCC come up and the role sounded very interesting and unique so she applied and was successful. She admits that she didn’t know much at all about apprenticeships before she applied. “I knew a few people that had done them and knew of the benefits, but it wasn’t until I started that I really saw the benefits of earning whilst learning at the same time”.
When we asked Kia what her favourite part of her job is, she said generally working in the youth justice sector, learning different processes, especially dealing with the courts and legal side of operations. It looks like Kia has now found her ideal career path, as when we asked her what her career plan going forward is she said she would like to do the same sort of work, but would particularly like to work with children.
A key member from the beginning
When Kia started her apprenticeship, her supervisor was ill so she was thrown straight into the deep end so to speak, and had to pick things up at a faster pace, and get stuck in to work that she probably would’ve progressed to at a later date if the team wasn’t depleted. She said that she felt this helped her as she had to get to know other people in the business quicker, and learnt at a much quicker pace but all of the team were very supportive.
Her manager Maria was impressed with how quickly she became a critical member of the team and said “Kia’s learning curve has been steep but she’s been a hard worker and a fast learner, and a major breath of fresh air to the team. She’s made the team gel and allowed them to function and focus on their work, and is clearly passionate about the role”.
When we asked Kia what she would say to other people thinking of taking on an apprenticeship, she said “definitely go for it, it’s a really good way of getting into your chosen career”.
If you want to mark the one year anniversary of our Apprentice of the Month awards by being the proud employer of the winner, make sure you nominate your apprentice before Wednesday 10th August.