Alex, People Advisor and Level 5 CIPD apprentice
I started my career in recruitment, working for an agency and managing a local authority account. I liked my client so much, I went to work for them as an in-house Human Resources Advisor. This employer supported me to complete my Level 3 CIPD training.
In 2016, I joined Vets4Pets to be a People Advisor, providing support to Vets4Pets and Companion Care Practice Partners and colleagues, and within one year of joining, I started my Level 5 CIPD training. At this point, I had been working in HR for several years, and I wanted to complete Level 5 to underpin the experience I had gained and to give me the confidence to say, “Yes, I am at this level in my career, and I’m ready to progress”.
HR and recruiting are part of the same team, and both focus on people. This is why I got into recruitment in the first place…getting to know people, building relationships, finding great candidates for challenging roles to fill. People are at my core, and they are my work passion.
Within the People team at Vets4Pets (we don’t call it HR as it’s so much more than that), we have Recruitment, Human Resources, Learning and Development and Payroll teams. Those are four distinct teams with different roles and responsibilities, but they all focus on people. HR brings so many opportunities as there is such a wide range of roles that sit under the HR umbrella.
I’m completing my apprenticeship through ARCH Apprenticeships, and it’s a 12-18 month programme that’s very flexible. The Level 3 CIPD provided a great, practical start to Human Resources. Level 5 focuses more on theory. My favourite module to date has been Employment Law, which I find really interesting. Things change all the time so it’s good to keep abreast of all the different types of legislation and to learn how we can best support our colleagues. My second favourite module focused on different models or structures for HR teams. That was fascinating.
Vets4Pets really supports me with completing my training. I spend four hours per week of work time doing my assignments. I have a very demanding service-driven role, so it means a lot to me that the company is happy for me to step out of my role for four hours per week to study. This shows me that they want me to progress, are interested in my career progression and where I would like my studies to take me. This is huge to me.
My mentor has been great. She’s interested and involved in my course work and is always thinking of practical applications to complement the theory I’m learning so I can see how the theory plays out in real situations. She’s also always encouraging me to raise my hand and to get involved with projects that will bring me new experiences and new learning opportunities. She’s always encouraging me.
I have a great tutor who has fantastic experience and easily brings things to life and sparks ideas. And my course mentor comes to visit every couple of months and wants to know how I’m getting on, if everything is going OK, how I’m feeling about the learning, how my project is going and if I’m getting the support I need. I’m able to have really open conversations with her, and she’s a great person to bounce ideas off of.
My apprenticeship course work does require commitment. If I add up all of the time I spent each week on my studies, it probably amounts to one full day. The biggest advice I can give anyone considering an apprenticeship is to be flexible and to plan your time. You need to be strict with yourself timewise. Do your course work first, and then go out with your friends. But, I do strongly believe that apprenticeships offer a great opportunity to start and progress a career.
To find out about available apprenticeship training with Vets4Pets, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.