A First (of firsts) at FIRST!

Jack Havver recently joined as an apprentice. To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, here's a blog written first hand by Jack about his experiences and thoughts on his first month.

A little about me

Working in a school or for a top training/educational provider has always been one of my dreams, followed closely by being an author, and I’ve always known which one was more realistic. Yet, all that was in doubt having dropped out of university which left me without the confidence to strive for my goals...until I started my apprenticeship, that is.

Before FIRST 

Before starting my apprenticeship, I had bounced between different volunteering roles in several different schools and with the council, along with a failed attempt to gain a degree with the Open University; whilst it was great experience, I found that I had very little focus and was lacking the qualifications and training I needed to go beyond volunteering. So, I was struggling to find work in the areas that I was most passionate about. Education! Especially the in the support role. But, I never gave up hope, knowing that somewhere out there was the role for me. The Fates had ordained it, and wouldn’t you know it, along came FIRST. 

The first days 

I won’t lie, I was nervous. Nervous during that initial interview, during my first meeting with the team, and with the prospect of having to balance my new job with collecting evidence for my apprenticeship. Turns out I needn’t have been nervous at all, not one bit. Now, a month has passed,and it honestly feels like I’ve been working at FIRST for a lifetime, and I mean that sincerely. Never before have I felt so comfortable in a role,to feel so values as an individual,and with such a supportive team behind me, ready to pick me up if I fall and help me to improve myself and grow to where I need to be. 

It may have only been a short time, but I have done so much already. I have already started to look after current learners on our course, whilst completing the course myself. That has been a real eye-opener, and opportunity I’m glad I didn’t miss. There have also been lots of chances for learning – I, myself, am not too tech savvy, and I’m finding now, after only four weeks, that I am able to use our systems to monitor learner progress, set up and conduct one-to-one sessions of Google Meets, manage a WhatsApp group filled with our current learners etc. Something I would never have been able to achieve just sat at home. My admin skills have also been boosted, and I know they will continue to be improved upon as time goes on. But, it’s not just the Learning Support role that I’ve been given experience in. I have had a chance to see FIRST from the recruitment side, which was wonderful to witness and an amazing chance to meet some of prospective learners. All in all, I couldn’t have asked for a better start, and I can’t wait to see what comes my way. 

Next Steps 

I will soon be starting the apprenticeship side of things, which I’m also looking forward too.Being able to do it whilst on the job will be so beneficial, and something I believe more people should get behind, especially if they prefer practical learning over just theory. I will also continue to give FIRST and their learners 110%, and learn, learn, learn! All whilst enjoying my time and having a little fun along the way.

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