Take a look at how Alec Greave is developing his skills and improving his career prospects through a Learning and Development apprenticeship programme.
What is your role at Domestic & General?
I am a learning specialist with D&G. My role is to facilitate training for new employees to guide their understanding of the company and to help team leaders gain the skills they need to carry out induction and post induction programmes. I joined D&G about six years ago and have been a learning specialist here for three years.
Why did you want to do the Level 3 L&D apprenticeship programme?
I want to improve my understanding of L&D. I studied music and taught as a percussionist teacher. I have always been interested in teaching as a profession but have not had a good understanding of the theory.
When did you start and when will you finish?
I started the programme in February and will finish in March.
How many units have you completed?
We have completed three units and just started our fourth so rattling through.
What skills and knowledge do you hope to develop during your apprenticeship?
In terms of at work, I am looking to refine some of my delivery and reflection skills. Reflection is a big one as it’s really important. As learning specialists we all do it but we don’t take the time to do it well and that is something the apprenticeship has already taught me. Keeping a regular journal helps me to reflect better on the knowledge I have gained which in turn helps to retain it more effectively.
What do you think the apprenticeship and CIPD qualification will do for your future career?
It’s certainly giving me more confidence in my own abilities particularly when I am in conversation with clients and stakeholders. The qualification is very important in terms of my future career in L&D. The apprenticeship shows a commitment to learning.
Is your manager supportive?
Yes extremely so. My manager is CIPD qualified and absolutely endorses the qualification. Because she has been through the programme she has lots of advice particularly in terms of managing the 20% off the job training.
How are you managing the 20% off the job training aspect of your apprenticeship?
Currently it is more challenging as we are very busy but I add a diary reminder to make sure I complete my journal. I was furloughed for six weeks at the start of the pandemic and since returning to work we have hit the ground running. We are delivering training on a virtual platform which we have never done before so it’s all new but in a good way. Working from home is different too. I would normally be based in Brighton in an office with 800 people so we are all changing the way we work.
How did you find the Watson Martin start up process generally?
I found the induction day, which was prior to lockdown, really good. The advisers Tracey Lewis and Joseph Grech went through the exercises and it was really easy to understand what was required from the apprenticeship.
What are your views on the online materials and tracking your progress?
The VLE is great, it has everything you need to start your learning journey on each unit. The videos that Joseph made are interesting and the webinars are fantastic. As an online learning journey it is all really effective. Onefile is good as a visual tool to record progress. There are some aspects of it that could be cleaned up ever so slightly but as a system it keeps track of exactly where you are and we can access everything that has been uploaded so it is perfect for the scenario we find ourselves in at the moment.
Who is your adviser and how do you work together?
Tracey is my adviser and she is fantastic. I enjoy working with her and we just clicked. Her knowledge and professionalism shine through in everything she does. She has helped me to learn how to use reflection as a tool, pointed me in the right direction and changed the way I reflect.
Predominantly we send messages through Onefile and we have also had a couple of 1:1s to keep in touch. A webinar is held at the start of each unit then we use the VLE to work through the assignment. Tracey is always open to catching up and will provide feedback on any queries via Onefile.
Final say …
It would have been nice to experience the apprenticeship without the coronavirus but Tracey and Joseph as advisers and the entire Watson Martin team have been really supportive to help us complete our work despite it being such as difficult time. The qualification will potentially open doors to opportunities in the future.