Oliver, Legal Services

What is your role?Oliver

I am the Paralegal Apprentice, working in the Legal Services team.

When did you start here?

In September 2020 and I am due to complete in September 2022.

Why did you choose to do an apprenticeship?

Because I wasn't keen on the idea of university and thought I had a better chance of learning while working as opposed to be in a class.

Did you come with GCSEs or A Levels?

Yes, I have the Maths and English GCSEs necessary for the post and I also have completed a Level 3 BTEC in Sports Science, which is equivalent to 3 A-levels.

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

Yes, I wanted to qualify as a Paralegal to enable me to then progress to a Legal Executive position.

Why did you decide to work here?

Because the council offered this apprenticeship that suited what I wanted to achieve.

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

I didn't know great amounts about working here but I had heard that the council offered great support with learning and encouraged progression through a chosen field. It was also made clear to me that working here offered great perks, such as a brilliant pension scheme.

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

I am doing the Paralegal Level 3 Apprenticeship. I don't have a plan that succeeds my qualification as I am still finding the area in which I would like to specialise in.

What do you enjoy about working here?

I like working at the council because of the support network I have received. I find it is important to challenge my capabilities, but it is nice to know there is support when needed.

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

Around my apprenticeship, I have attended training courses such as Conflict Resolution and Customer Services. In addition to training courses I have been allocated a workplace mentor who I often sit with and discuss work matters as well as personal ones. This is a highly beneficial opportunity as it provides me with somebody to speak to in confidence about anything that may be on my mind. I have also teamed up with other apprentices for events such as the National Apprenticeship Week, where we produced a PowerPoint presentation about the benefits of an apprenticeship as well as participating in less formal activities such as virtual quizzes.

What advice would you give to future applicants?

To think about your pathway to achieving what you want. Have a plan and how you want to get there. Not all pathways are suitable for everyone, but some are very helpful in getting you nearer to your goal. I believe that university isn't always the answer, as it is not for everyone, as was the case for me.