Lauren’s Story

I started my apprenticeship programme in January 2016, first doing a level 2 apprenticeship and now I am undergoing a level 3 apprenticeship within Phoenix Services which is Cornwall Fire, Rescue and Community Safety Service’s trading arm. Even from when I was at school, I’d say from the age of around 14, I wanted to be employed. I’ve always worked better in a team and in a professional environment. I loved school but I wanted to get into work and really show what I could do, an apprenticeship seemed like the perfect opportunity.

I still continue to enjoy my apprenticeship with the service; I’ve never had a day that I haven’t looked forward to coming in. Even when it’s raining or there’s lots of traffic I’m excited to see what lies ahead. It continues to build my skills every day. I feel confident on the phone and have learned new skills that I can transfer later in life. It has made me feel more confident in myself which has enabled me to obtain a full-time position within the service. I have sole responsibility for some accounts which I am confident in maintaining the service’s high reputation.

Currently, my job role is 50% administration work, which involves monitoring Phoenix outboxes, my own emails as well as planning events and courses. The other 50% of my time is spent on the marketing side. This including managing social media, the Princes Trust team and well as liaising with the fire investigation dog handler, Mark Smith and fire investigation dog Archie. I love what I do and I never thought when I got the apprenticeship all the amazing things I’d be doing now.

I had a mini crisis at College when I decided I no longer wanted to go to University! I had considered it, and my parents wanted me to go, but I wasn’t too sure. I remember at College something clicked when I was in a lesson and I didn’t feel as comfortable anymore – I wanted a challenge and felt I needed a change.

The challenges I have had here have all presented themselves with different opportunities and completing them has meant I’ve been involved with a lot of aspects of the business. From talking to people in the public, attending events and even developing a website. A year ago I hadn’t even seen Twitter! It’s weird thinking of how much I’ve changed and developed better as a person.

Ever since I had my interview with Phoenix Services and completing my Level 2 apprenticeship with the service, I’ve been recommending apprenticeships to my friends. I know a lot of people that get stuck after college and they’re not too sure what to consider. I got a lot of independence through my apprenticeship and get to do a lot of things as part of your job role. It can be quite difficult getting a job in Cornwall, but this was such a great opportunity I couldn’t turn it down.

Whilst I was at College, I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do but at the time I wanted to do something to do with the health sector – anatomy and physiology, nursing or something similar. I chose sciences because I enjoyed learning about it, but after my apprenticeship, I now want to move into marketing, events and websites. There are a lot of projects I can work on within this area which I enjoy. I have even had the opportunity to be working on our brand new animation based on our fire investigation dog Archie, his handler Mark Smith and pal Woody. Working on this project for the past 6 months has given me a wider skill set and has really helped me get a better idea of all aspects involved with running projects. The newly launched animation is the first in the UK to feature a fire investigation dog and is becoming increasingly popular on social media.

I really enjoy the training with Truro & Penwith College. All the work that I’m studying at college has actually interacted really well with what I’m doing at work. The location of the college itself is great too it’s centrally based so is an easy location to get too. When I first started my apprenticeship, I couldn’t drive and found that transport was easy to use and access. The course itself is planned well; you know what is coming up so you can revise if you want in advance. The tutors are all really supportive and the ladies in college reception are always so welcoming too.

I would recommend to you to think about the name of the email you supply to your possible future employer. The email address that I supplied when I went for this job was, unfortunately, an email I created when I was younger. The address was silly and unprofessional. Following this I’ve changed all of my emails, you can just imagine being on the phone to an employer and you have to give them a really embarrassing email address! I would also say that if you have an interview have an element of confidence about you, and remember you are applying for your job because you want it, so fight for it!

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