Access to employment - a 17 year old's experience of an apprenticeship

Access to employment - a 17 year old's experience of an apprenticeship

Posted 11 February, 2020 at 11:30

Author Nicholas Evans on behalf of Pronounce Content


Jaden Darlington-Bentley is 17, and studies at Oldham College for his Customer Services Practitioner Level 2.

He applied for an apprenticeship in VPS' Customer Service Team last year, and for most of the six months since then, spends four days a week at their Chadderton centre, whilst he attends college as part of the course and to also help him gain a certificate in mathematics.

Starting off as a customer services team member, he provided telephone, digital and written contact and communications with clients. Since then, Jaden has been moved onto the Key Accounts team, which handles our top 25 customers.

"It's challenging work, handling their requests, sorting out and booking in access to properties, but I'm well-supported by my team manager & the people around me. I recently had to sort out an access issue for a global real estate company, which I really enjoyed." Jaden says. “There was a complication about finding the keys for a particular property for the customer. So I called them to let them know there was an issue, asked them to bear with me, and then tracked the keys down, rang back and re-booked the access.”

He adds “I was weary about an office job, working in an office for the first time in my life, and it took a few weeks for me to find my feet. I’ve learnt so much though, about how to communicate with customers, and with colleagues too. The apprenticeship enables me to combine coursework with on-the-job training.”

 Strategic Hub team leader, Jodie Cowan, added 'Jaden comes in and does a good job every day. When I set him a challenging task, to complete a spreadsheet booking in multiple jobs, he completed it before the deadline."

Matthew Burns, customer support manager: "What we like about taking on apprentices, is that they are fresh out of school, they haven't learnt any bad habits, so that we can train them in good working practices. Watching them grow and develop in the role is rewarding for all of us."

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