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Career Advice

Gain 'Skills for Life' this National Apprenticeship Week

Written by

Eric Smith

Date posted

6 February, 2024

This National Apprentice Week (5th – 11th February), Coyle Personnel are shining a spotlight on our employees who have, or are in the process of, undertaking an apprenticeship. This is the 17th annual celebration, and it offers an opportunity for employers across the country to celebrate the value, benefit, and opportunity that apprentices can bring to their organisation.

This year’s theme is “Skills for Life” so what better way to learn about the skills and knowledge gained through an apprenticeship than speak to one of our many employees, Olivia Beretta, who has recently passed an NVQ Level 2 in Recruitment Resourcing.

Beginning as an apprentice Rail Resourcer with Coyle Personnel back in January 2022, Olivia took an is now an Account Manager in our Coyle Rail Ashford team, responsible for managing and resourcing for one of their biggest clients, Balfour Beatty. She recently shared her thoughts on the benefit of undertaking an apprenticeship.


Can you tell us a bit about your background and what led you to pursuing an apprenticeship in rail?

“Absolutely. I left school at 17 and went to Canterbury College to study level 2 and 3 Business. My decision to pursue business was driven by a desire to expand my communication and social skills, not just in the workplace but also in day-to-day life.

The apprenticeship opportunity in rail resourcing came about through a referral from someone within Coyle Personnel. Having never worked in recruitment or the rail industry, I saw it as a chance to develop both existing and new skills. The bonus was the opportunity to finally conquer my maths qualification, which was a mandatory component of the apprenticeship. I started in January 2022 and successfully passed my maths and NVQ qualification in the summer of 2023.”


What is it about the rail/recruitment industry that interests you most?

“The aspect that excites me the most is the opportunity to meet and engage with new people. Whether it's clients or contractors, there's always a chance to enhance my social skills and create valuable connections. Building strong relationships not only makes my work more enjoyable but also adds to my experience and knowledge.”


How did you find the apprenticeship? Did you enjoy the educational element of it?

“I thoroughly enjoyed my apprenticeship. While it demanded a significant amount of time during work hours, the educational component proved to be incredibly useful. I found that I could relate most of my coursework to my day-to-day responsibilities within my role.

The one-to-one maths sessions over Teams were particularly beneficial, helping me pass more quickly and finally achieve my maths qualification. Learning about relevant legislation acts and their importance in recruitment was also a real eye-opener.”


What about your role? What are the key responsibilities and how well related is it to your apprenticeship?

“One of my key responsibilities is uploading high-quality job adverts. During my apprenticeship, I gained over a year's worth of experience in creating and submitting job adverts for various vacancies and industries. The impact of a well-structured job advert was evident in my pass grade, as I had to ensure it included all the necessary information. This experience has made it easier for me to write job adverts for both white- and blue-collar vacancies, attracting relevant and qualified candidates.”


Do you have friends/family who have also explored the possibility of an apprenticeship? Would you recommend it to others?

“While I don't have friends or family who have explored apprenticeships, I would highly recommend it, especially if you want to learn a job role with no prior experience or relevant qualifications. It also provides the opportunity to obtain essential qualifications in maths and English. Apprenticeships allow you to progress at your own pace with additional support from your tutor.”


Now you have completed your apprenticeship, do you intend on continuing your studies through another apprenticeship, or perhaps, another academic qualification?

“Definitely. I enjoyed all aspects and sectors of my apprenticeship, and successfully passing it has motivated me to explore further qualifications in people practice. I aim to enhance my HR and people skills and knowledge through a qualification in people practice, gaining a different perspective on recruitment in the process.”


As a company, we thrive on helping our staff develop and progress within their roles. It’s great to hear of Olivia’s success in her apprenticeship and we look forward to supporting her as she continues to develop as a Resourcer within the Coyle Rail team.

Coyle Personnel offer several apprenticeship opportunities across many different roles, enabling employees to gain a qualification and continue their learning. We encourage you to explore Coyle Personnel’s internal vacancies this #NationalApprenticeshipWeek and take the next step in your professional career.


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