An apprenticeship is a chance to access great training, develop skills and gain qualifications whilst working for an employer. Dhaiya Singh chose to study an apprenticeship with TyneMet as she wanted to build on the skills she needed to get into her dream career. With an apprenticeship she had the opportunity to gain a recognised qualification and earn a salary at the same time as progressing at a higher level of study.

Currently undertaking a Level 2 Business Administration Apprenticeship, Dhaiya, 20, let us know about the ins and outs of being an apprentice and how she decided to go down that route.

What was your experience of education before you took up the apprenticeship with TyneMet College?

I didn't know what I wanted to do after studying for my A Levels but everyone was going to university which seemed the norm. I applied to study Law at the University of Sunderland but it wasn't for me, so I took a gap year and part way through, decided I wanted to get back into education.

What prompted you to apply for the TyneMet College apprenticeship programme?

An apprenticeship appealed to me because it is an opportunity to gain valuable work experience and a nationally recognised qualification. I found out about the apprenticeship programme at TyneMet College through an event at Cobalt Business Park. TyneMet College stood out from the other training providers as they offered to find an apprenticeship which was right for me.

What is your role as an apprentice and what kind of work does that involve?

As Business Administration Apprentice, my workload is constantly changing due to my varied role. I enjoy contributing to events, so I get involved with planning some which have included: the EE Awards Show, Apprenticeship Levy Event and the Brexit debate. I've also been involved in the planning of Tyne Networking which I thoroughly enjoyed as I got the opportunity to interact with local businesses.

I also work with trainers and the Business Development team to get learners enrolled. I spent a few weeks in The Gateway during summer invigilating and marking BSKB exams and helping students get enrolled. I also liaise with other service departments within the college, working closely with each different team to complete my tasks.

Alongside this, I greet visitors at reception and direct them to the correct person or department, manage the visitors book, answer enquiries in person, by phone or email, deal with incoming and outgoing post, taking minutes at meetings and updating computer records.

What have you gained from your apprenticeship in terms of skills?

The one thing in particular that I've learnt is how to be part of a large team. I've also developed my networking skills and communication skills. My IT skills have also improved greatly since starting my apprenticeship and my organisational skills are much better as I now have first-hand experience on how to prioritise my work load and complete all of my tasks in a timely fashion.

What are you planning on doing after your apprenticeship programme?

I am hoping that the experience I've gained during my apprenticeship will help me to progress onto a Level 3 Apprenticeship or Degree Level Apprenticeship. I would love to be able to stay with TyneMet College as a training provider as they've made my learning journey incredibly easy. However, I am unsure of what field I want to pursue yet. I'm hoping to get involved with a lot more of the service departments of the college, such as Marketing and Finance, to see which I would be best suited for.

What do you enjoy most about your apprenticeship?

I love the variety of things I get to experience and because of this, I've learnt so much since starting my apprenticeship, and a lot of skills I will be able to apply to any role I may have in the future.

What skills do you think are important in a Business Administration Apprentice?

You have to be diverse in your job role and be as helpful as possible. It is important to be professional at all times, have a problem solving attitude and be able to manage tasks effectively. An apprenticeship is a great opportunity to impress the employer, and if you do the above, there is a better likelihood of retaining your current role or taking on a new role within your organisation at the end of your apprenticeship.

What advice would you give people who want to become an apprentice?

My tip for anyone wanting to do an apprenticeship is to research the job role, employer and training provider properly as it has to be suitable for you in order to have an enjoyable learning experience. Don't just take any apprenticeship that has been offered to you, make sure that it is the right apprenticeship for you!

At TyneMet you can choose from a wide range of apprenticeship programmes, whilst recieving a personal, friendly service to help you to commence your career and continue to build your qualifications.

TyneMet's apprenticeship programme can help people achieve their dreams just like Mayhar Varshochi who is studying an advanced apprenticeship in Level 4 Project Management as an Apprentice Planner at GE Oil and Gas: http://www.tynemet.ac.uk/news/energising-the-future-of-apprenticeships

Apprenticeship programmes are an excellent choice if you don't want to stay in full time education. For more information and to apply for an apprenticeship, visit http://www.tynemet.ac.uk/workforce-training/apprenticeships

If you are thinking about doing an apprenticeship, read our blog for some insider Apprentice information - http://www.tynemet.ac.uk/workforce-training/apprenticeships/blog