National Apprenticeship Week 2024
This week is National apprenticeship Week, a time where employers and training providers across the UK are taking some time to say thank you to apprentices for their contributions in the workplace, and to celebrate their fantastic achievements!
To celebrate, we are raising awareness of Staff Apprenticeships at the university to support your development in your career. Please see our Staff Apprenticeships Guide for further information.
We asked one of our Staff Apprenticeship graduates, Philippa Dunn, about her experience as a previous Staff Apprentice, and any advice she has for current and future apprentices. Philippa is a Workforce Development Coordinator within the Workforce Development Team in Human Resources, and is an active member of the Women’s Network.
Q & A with Staff Apprenticeship Graduate Philippa Dunn
What has your career journey looked like so far?
My background was in event management, gaining 12 years' experience in consumer and experiential campaigns. This was within the drinks industry which was really fun and creative!
When I moved to Bath I found a job at a fabulous 5 star, Michelin starred hotel in Bath as the sales and events manager. Rather fortuitously, after maternity leave, a role within the University of Bath in the Workforce Development Team came up organising their staff recognition awards and the recognition event. It was amazing!
What led you to decide to do a staff apprenticeship?
As my role at the University was only fixed term, it naturally came to end. So almost a year later, when I saw a Human Resources (HR) Reward Apprentice role being advertised, I jumped at the opportunity. It seemed amazing to have the opportunity to develop and learn the skills of a new industry and most importantly whilst earning! I also liked the idea of being able to practically apply the skills as I learn.
Which apprenticeship did you complete and what was involved?
My Apprenticeship was Level 3 Certificate in People Practice, with a CIPD professional qualification. Therefore, I have the equivalent of what would be an HR A-level, but I am also accredited within the Chartered Institute for Personal Development.
Within the apprenticeship I had various modules of e-learning, online webinars and seminars to complete. I needed to complete reflective practices, and learnings from the modules. For the CIPD I completed 4 assignments, which were larger pieces of work and marked by the CIPD. The final part of the apprenticeship involved a project and ‘professional discussion’ (a bit like an interview, but you have all the areas that will be discussed in advance so you can prepare).
Has this apprenticeship helped you within your career?
It has given me the confidence that I have gained the skills to be an HR professional. So, although my background and experience has been in Events, the apprenticeship has given me the opportunity to apply my skills within HR with credibility.
Are there any challenges to consider when undertaking an apprenticeship?
Definitely time and workload. I prefer to actively work and feel I have ‘achieved’ something and so setting aside time for study was always last on my list of priorities. Even though I had full support from my manager and team, I had to adapt my ways of working, prioritising time to study and write the assignments.
Any advice for someone thinking about undertaking an apprenticeship?
I think it is a great opportunity to develop yourself. I always thought of apprenticeships as the ‘straight out of college’ option, but actually I can also progress to degree level in HR through an apprenticeship. The best thing is you are able to develop yourself, your skills and credibility within your role.