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Gaining experience: the apprenticeships at The University of Law

At The University of Law, we understand how valuable apprenticeships can be to both students and businesses. Apprenticeships allow students to gain experience and qualifications whilst being paid whilst companies get to train the apprentice to fit their company requirements in a really cost effective way.

ULaw is already a trusted provider of apprenticeships to a variety of legal sector employers across the country with already several clients and we are now practising what we preach by taking on our own apprentice, Louis Simmonds. Louis is a Business Administration apprentice we caught up with to find out why he chose this route.

I have wanted to do an apprenticeship since finishing my A Levels in 2016 but could never find anything in the field of work I had experience with, or was interested in. When I saw an apprenticeship in business administration, I remembered that I had enjoyed Business Studies in college so thought I would give it a go.

I found out about this apprenticeship through the Government Apprenticeship website. I had been looking on a variety of different websites, such as Indeed, but never had much luck. Fortunately I spotted this apprenticeship on the website and applied.

I chose an apprenticeship so I could learn a new skill whilst on the job. I have never really enjoyed the aspect of school where you learn whilst sitting in a classroom. I prefer to be practical and proactive throughout my day. Prior to this apprenticeship, I had spoken to friends and family who had also done apprenticeships and they told me many positive things about learning whilst on the job, developing new skills and being able to gain a qualification at the end of it. 

I think strong communication skills are necessary to study through an apprenticeship. If you are not able to communicate with your employer, or they are not able to communicate with you, it will make the job more difficult. You may not understand tasks that are being given to you and if you have any problems but aren’t able to communicate them, this could ultimately cause more issues.. During an apprenticeship, there may be times where you have to work alongside others, as well as individually, and if you don’t have team working skills, you may find more issues down the line. Finally, I believe that time management and organisation are also important skills to hone during an apprenticeship. Finding the balance of dealing with the workload of your job and the workload of the apprenticeship is very important.

My first piece of advice would be to find an apprenticeship in an area of work you know, understand and enjoy. There is no harm in further developing skills in an area you’re already familiar with. I think doing an apprenticeship in an area you enjoy is beneficial because you will actually want to do well and you won’t potentially get bored a few months down the line. On the other hand, I also think that doing an apprenticeship in an area you’re not too familiar with can also be quite beneficial, as this will allow you to gain skills in a brand new field of work and this may open your eyes to something you didn’t think of doing in your life, and this may also be enjoyable for you further down the line.

In my career, I am most inspired by my mother as she has shown me that if you put your mind to something then anything is possible. She was employed in mundane jobs for many years but in 2013 she applied to go to university to train in midwifery and qualified last year. She put her mind to her career and the hard work paid off. Now she is doing a job she really enjoys.

Once I have completed my apprenticeship with The University of Law, I’m hoping to be offered a permanent job as a Student Service Support Officer, or maybe a different role, depending on what’s available. I would then like to take the skills I will have learnt and integrate them into my normal day-to-day life and see where they can take me in the future.

So far, my apprenticeship highlight has been having the chance to work in a completely different environment to what I am used to. I have never worked in an office before, so having the chance to work in an office with people who are on hand to help me whenever I need it is really enjoyable. The team I work with are very helpful, always patient and co-operative whenever I have any questions.

Dean Sarah Ramsey, of The University of Law, Birmingham, said: “Education is now a big financial commitment for many people so the fact that apprenticeships are an option for people to work and learn on the job means that we are opening up education and training to a wider and more diverse group of people.”

More information on studying for an apprenticeship with ULaw can be found on our Legal Apprenticeships webpage.