Meet the Apprentices

Find out about the range of opportunities on offer to apprentices from those who have been through the process.

Apprentices

Jade Read, Communities Team

Jake Titterington, Communities Team

Max Cockrell, Licensing Support

Jamie Hazell, Planning and Management

Carrie Donovan, Project Management Office

 

Jade Read, Communities Team (East Suffolk Council)

people sitting in a meeting room around a desk at work

What is your role within your organisation?

I am an apprentice at East Suffolk Council, in the Communities Team. Our team is very diverse, so it has allowed me to gain a range of different responsibilities, and skills which is amazing. Subsequently, my key responsibilities are to help enable and develop the Community, deal with Community Safety and Anti-Social Behaviour Reduction by working with partners and stakeholders to identify and implement solutions to anti-social behaviour problems. Help support the development and delivery of initiatives to improve health and wellbeing, including; mental health, dementia, social isolation, carers and helping people to manage long term conditions. Tackling ‘Hidden Needs’ and promoting Equality, Diversity and Human Rights across East Suffolk, with particular regard to vulnerable communities, families and individuals. I also help support the Communities Manager and Communities Officers in delivering activities in the eight localities and in their specialist officer/’expert’ roles.

What have been some of the highlights of your experience?

My first event that I did, which was an intergenerational event, has been my favourite highlight. These events bring the elderly and young individuals together and allow them to get to know each other and realise that the old and young generations aren’t as bad as what they’re made out to be!

The event was in Felixstowe, and focused on the ‘Past, Present and Future’ of Felixstowe and students from the local primary and high schools worked together to create work to deliver to the elderly individuals who were from a local care home. It was so amazing to see everyone talking, and enjoying each other’s company and it made me realise from the start that I would truly love the team that I am in.

What impact do you think the experience has had on you?

The experience and skills that I have developed since being employed at East Suffolk Council are truly invaluable. I feel more confident as a person, and have gained so much knowledge – for example, from as little as learning how to write minutes and chair meetings to organising and delivering my own events. These are skills that I would never have dreamed I would be learning, but I love how every day I learn something new and gain a new skill and there are not many places where you can say you do that!

 What impact do you think you have had on the organisation?

I think having apprentice in an organisation is so important. It brings a new lease of life into the organisation and allows people to think in different ways as we have a different mindset. I personally believe in my team I have had a positive impact and I look forward to coming into work every day because of what I do, who I work with and who I work for.

 What motivated you to apply to a position at the council?

It’s really hard to know what you want to do nowadays, especially as there are so many options out there which is a great prospect but can also be a daunting one. I finished my A-Levels and didn’t know what step I then wanted to go in – whether it was going to be university or have a gap year. However, I saw this position advertised and I thought it sounded perfect.

What advice would you give to future applicants?

If people feel the same as I did, not knowing what direction to go in, I couldn’t think of anything better to do than an apprenticeship. I would suggest that future applicants apply even if they are not sure whether it’s for them because I guarantee they will love it. When applying for an apprenticeship, we hold open evenings and I would really recommend future applicants to come along to one of them to see exactly what it’ll be like, as it’s a real insight into what the world of work will be like.


Jake Titterington, Communities Team (East Suffolk Council) 

What is your role within your organisation? 

I have been a Communities Apprentice since September 2018. My role is a community enabler; enabling communities and groups to achieve their aims and goals. The other part of my role is processing and beginning investigations into anti-social behaviour complaints we receive.  

What have been some of the highlights of your experience?  

There have been several highlights for me in this apprenticeship. I was able to shadow our local MP for a day in Westminster and in the constituency, I wrote a funding bid for full cabinet for a project we are involved in (which was accepted!) and also have made a safeguarding referral as a result of an ASB complaint. 

What impact do you think the experience has had on you? 

I had never had an “office” job before this apprenticeship.  I had studied politics at university and had worked as a chef previously. Working in the Communities Team allowed me to get a great understanding of the breadth of work the council is involved in and I have been able to shadow other teams in my time here. I have had multiple training courses and put myself forward and successfully trained to be a mental health first aider. This opportunity has armed me with a great number of new skills. I have developed my skills in research, networking, communication, organising and prioritising my workload to name just a few. 

What impact do you think you have had on the organisation?  

Within our team I have been able to set up spreadsheets and templates for certain uses that make it a quicker process for officers to use and thus saving them time. I have been able to represent the council and have developed business and community relationships which will persist after I leave. 

What motivated you to apply to a position at the council?  

Having studied politics, I jumped at the opportunity to get involved in local government and get an understanding of how the beast of local government operates. My interest in politics and governance has been an interest from my mid-teens and I just wish this was an opportunity open to me when I was an 18-year-old!

What advice would you give to future applicants?  

Pick an apprenticeship that you are interested in! Know what you want to achieve. Tell your line manager/mentor/supervisor what you want to achieve. Showing some passion goes a really long way and if you want to be involved in something, ask! 

 

Max Cockrell, Licensing Support Officer (East Suffolk Council)

colleagues sitting around a desk at work

What is your role within your organisation?

My current role within East Suffolk Council is the Licensing Support Officer. However, I started off as an apprentice in the Planning Department doing Land Charges and geographical mapping.  

What have been some of the highlights of your experience?  

My highlights of working here have definitely come from the people I work with. I have made some very good friends and met some amazing people in my short time with East Suffolk Council. Everyone is so easy to talk to, friendly and helpful if need be. Another highlight would be the support my NVQ manager and old department manager have given me throughout my apprenticeship. This is my first office job, so transferring from a college environment to a professional environment was difficult for me. However, my NVQ manager Terri Caylor supported me and encouraged me to be the best version of myself, which has really helped me settle down and make an impact within the team. I personally believe I have learned some of the most important lessons here at East Suffolk Council and would encourage anyone to apply to be an apprentice here.  

My favourite highlight definitely has to be receiving the news that I have gained a full-time job in the Licensing Team within the first 6 months of my apprenticeship. This news made me realise that all my hard work over the last 6 months had been crucial to gaining this position. I applied for the role hoping I would get an interview, to gain interview experience for later down the road when I had more experience. However, to find out I impressed and was offered the job was incredible.  

What impact do you think the experience has had on you?

This whole experience has been amazing, I could not have asked for anything better. I have learned so many life lessons, gained so much knowledge and most importantly, grown up. I feel like I have learned crucial work-related skills which can help me with my career and my future.  

What impact do you think you have had on the organisation?  

I believe I have made small impacts on the organisation over my short time with the council, such as creating a spreadsheet so that the Land Charges team can always be on top of the payments, which everyone was very thankful for. However, my overall goal is to be in a position where I can have a big impact on big decisions inside the East Suffolk Council.  

What motivated you to apply to a position at the council?  

I applied for my apprenticeship at East Suffolk Council because I was stuck, I was confused about what I wanted to do with my life and saw this post advertised and thought it looked very interesting. I was hoping to get life experience and decide what the right path for me was during my apprenticeship with East Suffolk Council. However, after the first week I met some amazing people, and learned so many new things I was set on progressing at East Suffolk Council.  

What advice would you give to future applicants?

My advice to any future applicants is to be 100% honest with your team and manager. If you are struggling with tasks or need extra support they can offer you so much support and will help you in any way they can. Don’t feel ashamed or embarrassed to ask for support, as it is completely expected to be confused at the start. The whole point in having the apprenticeship is because you are learning alongside doing the day-to-day job.  

Jamie Hazell, Planning and Management (East Suffolk Council)

What is your role within your organisation?

My current role is Planning and Building Control support (otherwise known as administration) dealing with calls regarding applications and getting the applications registered for the officers.   

What have been some of the highlights of your experience?

The highlights have been from working with communities in regard to discussing why young people leave and stay in Suffolk, going out to trinity park and presenting on this topic. Also going out on site visits with the building control team allowed me to now progress to join their department.   

What impact do you think the experience has had on you?

The experience has been great for me. I’ve had the chance to prove myself to my colleagues around me. My work and interest have opened the door for a career in building control so I can do something I will enjoy in the long term. It’s also given me the chance to understand how Local Government works as well as develop my skills and confidence in day to day tasks and I’m looking forward to continuing this throughout my future at East Suffolk. 

What impact do you think you have had on the organisation?  

I think my impact has been greatly positive. Being a part of the Waveney and Suffolk Coastal merge was greatly challenging and rewarding. I believe that I and, most importantly, the team and the council as a whole worked very hard to ensure a smooth transition and in turn improve the service we provide to the residents under us.

What motivated you to apply to a position at the council?  

I applied to East Suffolk after hearing about the opportunities that were provided. I thought that the workplace that was on offer and the chance to build a career here was the ultimate reason I wanted to join   

What advice would you give to future applicants?  

My advice would be that the more effort you give in to your apprenticeship the more you’ll gain. Take all the chances to learn from other staff members, courses provided and tasks given to you. I’d also say take the time to explore other roles and services that the council provides because you never know what you might enjoy until you give it a try!

 

Carrie Donovan, Business Performance and Change (Suffolk County Council)

What is your current role within your organisation?

PMO (“Programme Management Office”) Apprentice for the Business Performance and Change team at Suffolk County Council.

What have been some of the highlights of your experience?

Hosting the annual public health conference – and winning the inspirational young person of the year award.

What impact has the apprenticeship had on you?

I’ve gained confidence in leadership, management skills, and project management skills.

What impact have you had within your organisation?

I have managed and driven the LACS and Local Offer project to be one of the most successful in the country.

What motivated you to apply for an apprenticeship within the public sector?

I was previously working within the public sector and had found a passion for project management.

What advice would you give to future applicants?

Make sure you take advantage of all the opportunities you can provided by the councils.