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    Charlotte Owens

    Business & Administration

    Surrey, London - Sutton Council

    About Charlotte:

    When I was at school, the only options offered to me were to attend a university or get a job, and if you chose the latter you weren’t provided with a huge deal of help and support. I did know that I didn’t want to go to university though. I had always believed that I would enjoy a job in veterinary nursing, so I left school, got a job, and started searching for a training position with a local vets. I eventually found one, but after a few months I realised it wasn’t really the job for me and began searching for suitable alternatives.

    I found out about apprenticeships when I was talking to a friend who had just completed one with Sutton Council, and was offered a full-time position in the same team upon completion. He also explained to me that it was a chance to gain a qualification, work experience and earn a wage all at the same time. I decided to look into it a bit more and found a business administration vacancy within the Sutton Education Business Partnership, part of Sutton Council’s Education Department, on their website.

    Personally, the apprenticeship exceeded my expectations. I didn’t realise how many doors it would open for me in regards to my career, and it’s also helped me to boost my self confidence. One workplace task that I had no prior experience in, and had never thought of as enjoyable, was answering and making phone calls. My line managers picked up on my reluctance very quickly and worked with me over the next few months to develop my technique and confidence, all the time encouraging me to use the telephone more and more. This is just one example of the continuous support I received from my managers and my apprenticeship advisor, throughout the apprenticeship. As the apprenticeship progressed, so did my responsibilities and I was able to take on more and more daily tasks, helping me to widen my skills and increase my knowledge even more.

    One of the biggest achievements in my apprenticeship came just a few weeks in. We were down a team member and being quite a small team this really affected our work load. My manager was also due to be off for two weeks very soon. All of this meant that I needed to learn as much as I could about the work in a short space of time so that we were able to meet all our deadlines and continue offering a quality service. I managed to do this while still keeping up with my apprenticeship portfolio and this ultimately led to me being given further responsibilities.

    My apprenticeship ultimately led to me being given the opportunity to apply for a full time Administrative Assistant role within the team and, after fulfilling this role for a year, I was then able to use all the skills I had gained from both roles to become the team’s Project Co-ordinator.

    A day in the life at Sutton Council for me involves:

    • Inputting data onto a database and spreadsheets
    • Creating flyers and marketing documents
    • Updating social media accounts
    • Writing and distributing important letters and emails
    • Chasing paperwork from employers for work experience placements
    • Organising the resources for and attending challenges and events
    • Keeping a track on the Way to Work Programme and sending weekly updates to schools
    • Dealing with work experience queries from schools, employers, parents, and students

    I have just completed the APM Project Fundamentals qualification and I am hoping to keep expanding my knowledge of business and project co-ordination to keep moving forward in my current career.

    What Charlotte’s employer says

    “SEBP is an advocate of the apprenticeship programme and committed to helping young people become “work ready” by being an apprentice. Charlotte was our first apprentice and has brought new ideas and a younger dimension to our service. As a result of her willingness to learn and take on more responsibility we were able to offer Charlotte the opportunity to develop her role. This resulted her becoming our Project Co-ordinator within 12 months of completing her apprenticeship.”,

    Chris Jones - SEBP Manager

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