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Meet November’s Two Apprentices of the Month

Meet November’s Two Apprentices of the Month

Although this award scheme is only in its fourth month, we have yet again been over-run with nominations and are delighted to hear that our KT&A apprentices are achieving great things within businesses across the county.

In November we were honoured to be able to present awards to two Apprentices of the Month! Chloe Trickey and Nicole Smith both work in the Revenues, Benefits and Recovery team at Ashford Borough Council and were nominated by managers Judy Jansen and Andrew Carney.

To present the award we visited the Civic Centre in Ashford. Judy, Andrew, Chloe and Nicole welcomed us into a meeting room for the presentation, just before lunchtime. It was clear that everyone there was proud of what the Apprentices had achieved. Lisa Barrett-Smith, KT&A Partnership Manager made a short speech congratulating all parties involved, and trophies, certificates and prizes were awarded.

Afterwards we sat down to have an informal chat about apprenticeships. Both Chloe and Nicole chose to do an apprenticeship because they wanted a challenge, and this was the easiest way to get valuable office experience.

As part of the Revenues, Benefits and Recovery team, much of Chloe and Nicole’s time is spent working with computing systems. In their day-to-day, they deal with data and run reports as well as process benefits, council tax discounts and exemptions and prepare for inspections. Chloe says that her favourite part of the job was learning how to manage these systems and developing general workplace knowledge.

Both Chloe and Nicole are working towards their NVQ Level 2 in Business Administration, and as Andrew tells us, are way ahead of schedule on their NVQ coursework – they have even been told to lay off the coursework for a while as they are so far ahead! Their enthusiasm cannot be faulted. Chloe and Nicole would recommend an apprenticeship to anyone. They would both like to stay put at Ashford Borough Council and advance up the ranks – so watch this space in August 2016 when both their apprenticeships come to an end!

We then moved the interview to the other side of the room to the employers Andrew and Judy asking them what made them take on Chloe and Nicole. Judy said that a whole group of potential apprentices were put through their paces at an assessment day, where they did many team building exercises, aptitude tests and informal ‘Day in the Life’ talks from different managers across the council. Chloe and Nicole stood out from the crowd, and decided by the end of the day that they would like to work in the Revenues, Benefits and Recovery division of the council.

When they started work, the pair immediately clicked and worked together flawlessly. Essentially they both have the same job, but they quickly devised rotas between them so that work could be varied and shared between the two of them. Andrew was quick to point out that their work was impeccably accurate and that he had no complaints – which is always good to hear.

When asked what made them take on an apprentice, Judy said that as a local council they had a moral obligation to take on a certain percentage of apprentices. They also have a lot of involvement with youth unemployment projects, focusing on the 16-25 age groups. They had a good experience with one apprentice and this has opened the doors for a whole host of others. They make a huge contribution to the team, and not just in terms of brainpower. Andrew commented that Chloe and Nicole seemed to have fantastic ICT skills and were teaching the team a thing or two.

We then asked Judy and Andrew what they would say to any business considering taking on an apprentice. Judy responded that there are so many success stories with apprentices and these outweigh the glitches. It is about being influential in someone’s starting point – giving someone the opportunity to start their career at a time when it is increasingly difficult.

This award gives Chloe, Nicole and the team the recognition they deserve. From all of us here at Kent Training and Apprenticeships – congratulations to Chloe, Nicole and the team!

Do you want your apprentice to be recognised for all of their hard work? Nominate them today!