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Apprenticeships are for everyone!

At 31, Aaron decided he needed a change from his 4 years working with young people with additional needs due to family commitments.

Aaron FlintAn apprenticeship with us has been the ideal opportunity to meet his needs and start a new career.

Aaron says:

"I was browsing for jobs one evening and saw an opportunity to apply to become a business services assistant with Derbyshire County Council. At first I was worried that I did not have the skills required to succeed. Also apprenticeships, are they not more for people leaving school and wanting to start work? After the interview and the job offer I was confident this was something I could succeed at.

"Everyone was so welcoming on my first day and I was introduced to each member of the team. I spent time with other business services assistants but also management, learning what they did day to day. I was given support by my mentor Tom Hunt and also my assessor who kept in contact regularly. I picked systems up quickly and was very eager to take on more tasks and push myself outside of my comfort zone. Four months in to my apprenticeship I was made aware of a job opening within my department and applied. I ended up getting the job on a fixed term contract and I am still given the same time to finish my apprenticeship and attend classes."

Diane Hinchley, Aaron’s line manager, has been really impressed with his work, commenting:

"Aaron has been a great asset to have within my team and he has fitted in really well. Aaron is a very helpful member of the team and is always happy to help other overstretched colleagues when requested to. I can rely on Aaron to complete tasks given to him, in a timely and efficient manner. He doesn't shy away from any task that is not familiar to him and is happy to take on new projects or learn new tasks.

"Aaron has been confident enough to enable him to have his own training courses to action and look after and also completes his daily tasks without fail. Aaron has a solution focused mind-set and puts forwards solutions to problems (such as badge holder boxes – asked if we could use normal storage boxes and therefore we only need to buy the foam inserts instead of buying expensive ready-made badge boxes), which is not only saving money but is practical too. Aaron's time keeping and sickness record are also excellent.

"During the time Aaron has been with my team he has been attending training for ICT, Maths and English at the Ritz [Adult Community Education Centre] on a weekly basis.  He also attends his drop in sessions on a Monday afternoon, in order for him to have time away from the office to complete assignments and modules for his apprenticeship. I also try to give him opportunities to learn away from the office such as attending conferences to support with the admin duties on the day and I have encouraged him to apply for any corporate training courses that will help him in his current or future job role(s) – such as minute taking and interview skills. Recently Aaron was successful in gaining a temporary grade 4 full time role within the same office but he is still continuing with his apprenticeship qualification."

Aaron says:

"The skills I have learned since joining Derbyshire County Council have been invaluable. I have grown in confidence and now feel I have the ability to push myself further within my role, the management and the team have been really supportive.

"DACES [our adult education service] has helped me gain confidence in subjects I never excelled in at school. Thanks to DACES I have achieved my level 2 in ICT and level 1 in both English and maths. I'm now working towards level 2 in both maths and English and with support from DACES I hope to complete this by the end of the year."

Diane says:

"Meeting Annie Kent, Aaron's assessor has been delightful. She always keeps me in the loop and up to date with any meetings she has planned with Aaron. Annie always states I can contact her or DACES at any time if I have any questions or queries. She is very approachable."