Welcome to Part 2 of our National Apprenticeship Week article and the end of National Apprenticeship Week. After discussing our former Apprentices development, we wanted to take some time to celebrate the 5 Apprentices currently working with us. I sat down with Jade, Phoebe, Anzelika, Emma and Tia and asked about their experiences with us so far. We don’t see our Apprentices as a means to an end; we recognise their importance to the team and support them in this as much as we can. For example, we pay our Apprentices the full National Minimum Wage, rather than the standard (and considerably lower) Apprenticeship Wage.
If you missed Part 1 of our article, click here to read it.
We value the contribution our Apprentices give to the business, and the door is always open for feedback and suggestions. We’re always looking for wider suggestions about how we can enhance the running of our business, and we see a major benefit of Apprentices to Language is Everything as improving our ability to provide exceptional customer service from the first point of contact.
Moving on to the Apprentices themselves, we’re starting with Phoebe, who has been with us for nearly a year. It’s been a pleasure watching her development at work alongside her Apprenticeship. As the most experienced of our Apprentices, Phoebe plays a vital role in the Operational side of the business, often having to come up with creative solutions to logistical problems.
Next up is Emma. She started with us in May 2019, and wanted more varied learning opportunities to help develop her skills. The most interesting part of her time with us so far has been working with a variety of clients, and learning specific ways of communicating depending on the context, and we’ve been impressed with her dedication and work ethic.
Emma described the support she’s received from Language is Everything as ‘fantastic’ which is always great to hear. We look forward to working with her and watching her development into some further qualifications after completing her Apprenticeship. I asked her if there were any comments she wanted to add, and she said that ‘although I’m only so far into the Apprenticeship, I am thoroughly enjoying it, and it is a great qualification to have and a great experience. I would always recommend it.’
Anzelika started with us in August 2019. She originally wanted to grow her confidence on the phone as well as her knowledge of different languages and cultures. Now she’s been working with us for nearly 6 months, we’ve seen her confidence on the phone develop. Anzelika has also taken a keen interest in the operational side of the business, and the mechanics of interpreting.
On being on an Apprenticeship with us, she said that ‘Language is Everything puts me in a good position as I can learn how to communicate well with customers and provide good service. Also it includes a lot of languages, cultures and beliefs, which is in my interest. Being able to break the language barrier feels rewarding.’
Tia wasn’t originally intending to do an Apprenticeship, ‘however this has opened doors to further education and higher level jobs’, something she’s now considering for the future. We’ll aim to help her achieve this as much as we can.
Similarly, Jade has only started her Apprenticeship recently, but even after a short time on the course, she says that it has opened up opportunities for her. Whilst she’s still new to the course, she graded the support we’ve provided so far as ‘good’, although she’s still working out the best way to apply her learning from the course to ‘best prepare her for other working roles.’
I also asked Carla, our Service Excellence Team Leader, for her thoughts on the Apprentices’ work with us. Carla works closely with the Apprentices on a daily basis, and she attests that the Apprentices ‘work very hard’. She’s been especially impressed, seeing how their proactivity and professionalism develops with every diverse call or situation. Asked for any final thoughts on the Apprentices development, Carla said that ‘The Apprenticeships encourage them to invest more time and focus into their job roles practically, and their personalities and skill sets are often becoming transferrable without them even realising; making them valuable, well rounded team members.’
As we mentioned in the last article, it’s worth repeating that we have never had an Apprentice complete their Apprenticeship with us and not be offered a full time position with the company. With our current Apprentices well on their way with their development and gaining valuable working experience with us, it’s time to turn our attention to the Apprentices Yet to Come.
We dedicate a lot of time and resources to ensure we employ Apprentices we can support, and who can eventually help support us. With this in mind there’s no reason to expect we won’t be taking on many more Apprentices in future. We work with many freelance interpreters across the country, but our recruitment focus is local and is centred around Apprenticeships. We aim to support and start our Apprentices on their career journey from the moment they step through the door. Apprentices are treated as equal to any other employee, as a valued member of the team. After completing their course, further training is almost always available internally and higher level NVQs may be offered if they are available and the candidate wishes to continue with further training.
To conclude, we give our Apprentices the same amount of dignity, respect and patience as we would any of our customers, interpreters and other staff. This is in the hope they find opportunities to develop into the talented, passionate individuals we know they can be. We hope you’ve had as successful and enjoyable National Apprenticeship Week as we have, and we’re looking forward to spending the rest of the year working with our wonderful Apprentices.
For more information on National Apprenticeship click here (Please note that Language is Everything is not responsible for the content of external websites)