The national event is a calendar highlight for many apprentices within the public sector, and an event that Essex County Council have attended for many years.
Apprentices from Councils all over the country came together for the event on May 25th, where they were able to meet their peers, network and learn from others within local government. During the event, apprentices work in virtual teams to experience the opportunities, risks and challenges involved in delivering successful local government services, in a developmental environment.
This year ECC had apprentices from across different business areas attend the event, with our colleague Sam Geden being on the winning team. Sam is currently undertaking a Business Administration accessible apprenticeship whilst working as a Community Support Worker within Adults Social Care, we caught up with him to hear more about his experience.
Sam, huge congratulations on being part of the winning team. What did you think of the event, was there anything that stood out to you?
The event was a lot of fun! The whole idea of meeting apprentices from around the country was quite daunting at first, but once we got into our teams and got to know each other, the whole day went by wonderfully.
Sam is an asset to the team and more widely to Adult Social Care.Amber Stevens, Team Manager
What stood out to me was how liberating it was: we were given a task to develop throughout the day, which allowed us a lot of room for creative thinking. Getting to work with different kinds of media and adding a few flourishes as our idea developed was a real joy.
How do you think your apprenticeship has helped you develop since starting at ECC?
My apprenticeship has given me a lot of what I guess you could call ‘real world experience’ in organising, administration and media communication that I want to take on to where I want to be in life. Working on the ground floor with my team to help people with autism or a learning disability has really opened up the diversity of experiences, which is a great privilege.
Before starting with ECC, what was your background?
Having graduated from the University of Essex with a Master’s degree, I have a passion and background in writing and filmmaking. When I’m not able to get a hold of a camera, I’m developing a career as an academic.
What are you hoping to achieve from your apprenticeship?
I’m hoping to get as much varied experience as I can from my apprenticeship. I’m a compulsive learner, but I also recognise that because of my background, I tend to see life through a theoretical lens. Getting my hands dirty and applying what I’m learning to the real world is really satisfying as I can see immediately the impact my work is having. I hope to take these skills and experiences into future roles too.
Sam demonstrates clear empathy and understanding along with a questioning style which supports his own but also other team members development.Amber Stevens, Team Manager
Finally, if you could give one piece of advice to someone who is looking at an apprenticeship opportunity within ECC, what would you say to them?
An apprenticeship is the best of both worlds: getting practical experience as well as learning is a win-win situation, and what you learn here can be taken forward to any number of careers. Taking an apprenticeship is about using this space to grow your skills and awareness of the world around you. It’s a terrific, humbling and rewarding opportunity!
At ECC, we have a dedicated Entry to Work Team who understands the importance of creating pathways of employment into ECC, and apprenticeships are just one of these routes. You can take a look at the pathways here.