An apprenticeship can be a big commitment, taking a lot of time, willingness and dedication to succeed. During National Apprenticeship Week, it’s important for apprentices to take the time to acknowledge their own hard work and the encouragement from those around them. Having a good support system can really make a difference, which Angie Shardlow, Maintenance Manager at Hythe Training Area, knows all too well:

“I left education with nine GCSEs and a Level 2 NVQ in Beauty Therapy, yet by the age of twenty I was pregnant and had lost interest in the subject. That’s when I started working part-time in administration for a plumbing company. The business managed major contracts with local housing associations, carrying out a lot of maintenance work, and I fell in love with the job – quickly moving from administration to Contracts Supervisor.

“Fast forward to 2019, and I had joined Landmarc as a Maintenance Supervisor – all thanks to my 10 years’ experience within managing maintenance contracts. Since I had no qualifications in this sector, I decided to take on a Level 3 Facilities Management apprenticeship a year later to strengthen my knowledge.

“Reaching the end of my 18-month course, I feel so much more confident in my position now after learning different modules within FM. The three units I found most interesting were ‘monitor and solve customer service problems’, ‘maintain property and assets’ and “understand the value of feedback in the workplace” – the latter of which I couldn’t have achieved without a fantastic support system around me.

“The encouragement I’ve received from all my colleagues has been amazing. Occasionally I need contributions from those I work closely with, for example, statements on how I can improve my management skills, which all goes towards my final grade. Everyone has been more than happy to spend some time with me or point me in the right direction.

“One thing I found most challenging is maths. I have always struggled with the subject but I have a real determination to get through it and pass. My tutor, Jason, is very knowledgeable and has been so helpful throughout the course – he knows how much this plays on my mind so he’s always very encouraging.

“I would say if you have been thinking about starting an apprenticeship, bite the bullet and go for it! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. It’s given me a sense of achievement and pride.”

View our quick guide to apprenticeships at Landmarc here.