Written on: 31 March 2021
Written by: Megan Hussey
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Our annual Employer of the Year award recognises the vital role our employers play in the success of our learners on their apprenticeship journey.
This award celebrates how the organisations we work with embed apprenticeships into their culture and showcases the outstanding support they provide to our learners on a daily basis.
Our Employer of the Year 2021 is The One Point, nominated by their apprentice, Kerry Owston. Kerry completed a Level 3 Digital Marketing apprenticeship with Baltic, achieving a distinction! Kerry's apprenticeship journey didn't stop there, she is now enrolled on our Level 4 Marketing apprenticeship.
Here's why The One Point are the Baltic Apprenticeships Employer of the Year 2021:
As apprenticeships are all about development and growth, combining education with on the job experience, it is vital our employers have a support system in place for their learners. This is a huge part of what stood out about The One Point. Kerry gave us an insight into the support apprentices are provided within the organisation:
“All apprentices shadow full-time staff members until they gradually feel comfortable enough to start taking on the role themselves.
“This model is beneficial since a growing number of our helpdesk team have either joined as an apprentice themselves, have significant experience supporting apprentices or, in some cases, have experience in both positions.
“We also recognise the support we need to give our apprentices to learn. There is time away from their regular duties and always someone to ask for advice on assignments. This guidance has led to some pretty impressive Distinction grades when our past apprentices have completed.”
Photo: The team at The One Point (photo taken prior to social distancing)
At Baltic, we’re huge believers in the ‘grow your own’ ethos, and understand the benefits apprentices can bring to businesses. Kelly explains how The One Point have done just that:
“In 2017, Lewis completed his Level 3 IT Infrastructure Technician apprenticeship and became an apprentice ambassador at The One Point. In 2018, Lewis was then presented with his first Company Value Ambassador Award for his commitment to helping other apprentices succeed. Fast forward to 2020, Lewis received a promotion for his fantastic efforts and is now IT Support Manager at The One Point.”
Kerry also gave us further insight into the Apprentice Ambassador system and how this works:
“Those who have progressed from apprentice positions to permanent roles are known as Apprentice Ambassadors. Someone the next generation can look to directly for guidance. These apprentice mentors provide additional support beyond the direct supervisor our apprentices work with.”
It’s clear that The One Point have embedded apprenticeships into the fabric of their organisation!
It’s no secret that 2020 has proved a challenge, it can be difficult to maintain a positive workplace culture when a large number of teams are working remotely. Kerry shared with us how The One Point embraced this change:
“It's been a challenging year for any business. As an apprentice employer, The One Point have taken into account age and experience and offered tailored support adequately to the individual's needs. This has allowed training to continue safely and with minimal disruption. To help out, we frequently check in with each other. Overall, it's the people and culture that make The One Point apprentice experience a success.
“We are a workplace that helps less experienced team members progress into competent and confident industry professionals. It has taken time and learning to get to where we are now. Our apprentices, current and former are very much a part of that journey”.
Kerry also shared with us how The One Point challenge common misconceptions about apprenticeships, making sure they are accessible to every member of their team:
“Apprenticeships are not just limited to our new young starters either and have been popular with our established members of the team looking to boost skills, gain industry qualifications and transition roles.”
The One Point have apprentices with Baltic in their Marketing, IT and Telecoms teams which showcases how apprenticeships are a core part of their business. One thing we admire about this organisation is that when their learners are excelling, they like to shout about it!
Oliver Cook, IT apprentice at The One Point received an outstanding Apprentice of the Year nomination:
“Oliver has bloomed into a fantastic team member with glowing reviews from his co-workers and our customers alike. We regard Oliver as an excellent apprentice and a true rising star of the company.
“Like all our apprentices, Oliver began his journey by shadowing our more senior engineering team's work until he developed enough knowledge and confidence to start taking on tasks by himself. Oliver showed his enthusiasm by being curious, asking questions and crucially, knowing when to ask for help.”
This is a fantastic example of how with guidance from an employer, an apprentice can become a pivotal member of a business.
The support and guidance our employers offer to our learners plays a vital role in helping them succeed both professionally and personally. With this in mind, we had to give a special mention to another one of our employers: Scott Woodhead, Director of Yolo Inc.
Scott was nominated by L3 apprentice, James Martin-Harper, who said:
“He inspires me to face every challenge I have with a brave face, and to fully trust my ability to bring things to the best resolution I can. He’s taught me that strength isn’t defined by ability to cope with challenges and/or issues, but to overcome them”.
Thank you to Scott and the team at Yolo Inc for going above and beyond to make James’ apprenticeship experience a successful one.
At Baltic, we love to celebrate success! If your apprentice is going above and beyond, why not nominate them for Apprentice of the Month?
To nominate your Baltic apprentice, send us a 200 word nomination to firstname.lastname@example.org