Wednesday 25th August 2021
By Ellie Moston
Change was always something that scared me. The uncertainty and things not being how they usually are was something I wanted to avoid. So, as a 15-year-old who found out I was leaving school within the next 2 days and going into lockdown due to the pandemic, I felt as though I had lost control over what was happening in my life. I now had to think about the next step in my career and felt confused about what it was I wanted to do. I applied for colleges and apprenticeships and hoped for the best. I got into both colleges and decided to attend one of them.
Fast forward to September of the same year, I received a call that largely impacted this.
I had got an opportunity to complete a Business Administration level 3 qualification as a Marketing Assistant Apprentice for Aspire Housing. When starting this job, I didn't know what to expect as it was my first one – it turned out to be one of the best things I have done.
At a time when Coronavirus cases were on the rise, I was going to be working from home for the coming months. This resulted in meeting most people in the company virtually, working on my desk in my bedroom for a large majority of my time working, and feeling lonely due to working at home and not being able to see others as of restrictions that were in place. These are some of the more negative things I have experienced during my apprenticeship. On a more positive note, I have the best team and colleagues to be working with, my confidence and maturity have massively improved, as pointed out by family and friends, and I have gained a lot of valuable experience whilst earning for myself and lots of insight into the Housing sector and great opportunities within my work:
We had our Volunteer Day for Realise Charity who are part of weareaspire, in which we all went to a local residents’ garden and cleaned it up! It was largely overgrown and needed to be sorted – this was a great day to get outdoors, spend time with the team, and help out others.
• I have even taken part as a panel speaker in a national webinar hosted by PlaceShapers! This was a great opportunity and one of the best things I have done during my apprenticeship as it not only allowed me to share my apprenticeship journey so far with many others and hopefully inspire them too, but also gave me a chance to speak to other apprentices from different organisations and learn about their careers. This helped me with confidence especially, not only in work but personally too as I can get quite nervous.
As someone with no experience working in this sector, I have learnt so much and gained first-hand experience visiting our developments and doing things like property checks and completions on sales. It shows you just how important it is to make the Housing sector the best it can be and how we help others/our customers – this makes me proud to have the job I do.
As restrictions were easing, I was able to see my team and colleagues in person (adhering to restrictions when they were in place) which was great! Although I am grateful for the experience of working from home as it has allowed me to develop my confidence, both in and outside of work, learn new skills and reflect more on my life, I'm also happy to now be able to go out again and to work in person in our office as well as virtually.
I now feel as though I have regained control over my life and what I do, through my apprenticeship.