William's Journey from Apprentice to Senior Apprenticeship Manager


EN:Able Futures new apprenticeship team in the North East both started their careers as apprentices. Here's William's story

EN:Able Futures Flexi-job Apprenticeship Service is now availalbe in the North East, where it is creating opportunities for people who wish to start on the path to a rewarding career working in the construction and built environment sectors.

William Oliver is our new Senior Apprenticeship Manager based in the North East. He started out his career as an apprentice, and kindly shared his story with us in his own words:

"In 2000 at the age of 16 I was overwhelmed with the options that were on offer for a typical teenager from a rural community with decent GCSE grades. I was not sure if the A level route was for me, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be a nurse, paramedic or have a career elsewhere.

I got my grades in July 2000 and was very proud of them. I then saw a vacancy for an apprenticeship with New College Durham and applied. Little did I know that it was an apprenticeship to work in the college which was exciting. I went to the interview and met three lovely ladies called Heather, Jane and Alison and it seemed to go over in a flash. I got the job and started at New College Durham (NCD) in the Work Based Learning Department in September 2000. I worked at NCD for 3 years and that was the best start I could have had. There are a couple of reasons for this; first is I had an amazing manager and coach in a lady called Heather Baxter. She gave me lots of responsibility very quickly and I learnt an awful lot as a result. The second is very supportive colleagues who like Heather coached me through my apprenticeship, and then when I was offered an actual job with NCD, as an Outcomes/Inductions Officer supporting other apprentices!

in 2002 I qualified as an Advanced Apprentice with Level 2&3 Business Administration, Level 3 Key skills in English, maths and ICT.

I left the college in October 2003 to work for Her Majesty’s Prison Service where I spent 4 years putting my administration experience into practice working as a Crown Court liaison and latterly an Adjudications Officer. This for a lad of 19 years old wouldn’t have been possible without a great start in my early career as an apprentice.

Since 2003, I have worked primarily in an education setting in College’s, training providers, National Apprenticeship Service and City & Guilds. Between 2007-2009 I qualified as an assessor, internal verifier, manager and later a quality manager!

My time at Learning Assistant Ltd and latterly City & Guilds was another amazing experience in my career. I thought my mentor at NCD was a lifelong friend but Beverley Gardner who I reported to in her role as Operations Manager was an amazing role model. As a 23 year old lad moving into a Business Development role was a real eye opener, but I had the confidence to do the role from my earlier days as an apprentice.

My apprenticeship has given me the skills, confidence and passion for apprenticeships. I am a positive result of the process, and 22 years later I am still at it. But now as a senior manager working for EN:Able Futures CIC as their Senior Apprenticeship Manager in the North East! I have so many people to thank for my amazing career but in summary, it wouldn’t have been possible without my apprenticeship 22 years ago!”

To find out more about EN:Able Futures construction-based apprenticeships in the North East contact William at: william.oliver@efficiencynorth.org

The Author

Written by EN:Able Futures

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