Carmen, Learning and Development

Carmen What is your role?

I am a Human Resources (HR), Learning and Development and Payroll Apprentice, I work within the team: HR, Legal and Democratic services.

When did you start here?

I started in January 2020 and I am due to complete in December 2021.

Why did you choose to do an apprenticeship?

Because it includes the qualification whilst earning money at the same time. It also allows you to get a feel for a real work environment.

Did you come with GCSEs or A Levels?

I came with nine GCSEs including Maths and English, I didn’t do A Levels.

Did you have a clear idea of what you wanted to do?

No, I left school and didn’t have any idea of what I wanted to do or where I wanted to go. I applied to college for a business course, I really didn’t enjoy this and after a week I applied to sixth form, I chose Business, Law and Sociology. I continued with this for about three months, but I realised that the school environment wasn’t working for me anymore. I applied for an apprenticeship at West Suffolk Council, I was hoping that this would be the right decision because I didn’t want to keep changing, this was the best choice!

Why did you decide to work here?

I have always heard from people that working in local government is always a nice place to work, so when I saw this apprenticeship I applied straight away. I also investigated the benefit packages which are just a bonus.

What did you know about the council before you joined and what have you learnt about it so far?

I knew that West Suffolk provided services such as bin collection and providing housing. I didn’t know that there were so many areas and other services which they provide. I have also learnt that they are very flexible with working hours.

What apprenticeship are you undertaking, and do you have future plans?

I am doing a HR apprenticeship. I still don’t really know what I want to do in the future.

What do you enjoy about working here?

I really like that West Suffolk are so flexible with the hours that I work, I also really like the working environment and the team that I work in. There isn’t really anything that I don’t like so far.

Apart from your apprenticeship, have you had other opportunities to learn and develop, job-shadow or to be involved in different projects?

Yes, I have been involved with Apprenticeship week, many training courses, I have been redeployed into customer services and I went to my previous school to represent West Suffolk Council for work experience opportunities.

What advice would you give future applicants?

That even if after applying you don’t get the role, every experience is something to learn from.