Sussex Chamber employee Jacob Baker has completed his Business Administration Level 2 Apprenticeship after 12 months of hard work.
Jacob, aged 21, started working with the Chamber in May 2019 and embarked on his apprenticeship just two months later. After leaving college, Jacob was uncertain of the best career for him but knew that he was not interested in pursuing University. The next natural route for him was clear - an apprenticeship. He told us that the notion of learning whilst getting some real-life office experience sounded like the “best of both worlds”.
He recalls his first day working with the team at Sussex Chamber and how quickly his apprehension dissolved as he came to realise that his colleagues were supportive and always had time for him – no matter the question.
It did not take long for Jacob to adjust to the swing of office life. With no two days the same, he learnt to organise his time between office work and apprenticeship studies and told us that he found the gradual progress immensely rewarding.
As was the case for so many, Coronavirus restrictions massively hampered the studies and tasks Jacob had lined up for the last months of his apprenticeship (March to June). This unprecedented challenge meant Jacob had to adapt his work quickly and efficiently to work from home. He admitted that it “felt strange adapting” but that “happily, everything worked out well in the end” as he completed his studies in June as lockdown restrictions eased.
Following the completion of his studies Ana Christie, CEO of Sussex Chamber, was pleased to offer Jacob permanent employment as an Office Administrator. Ana stated that Jacob “provides excellent support to the entire team and is a great asset to the company”. She promised that the Chamber “will continue to support Jacob in developing new skills”.
When asked why she had initially decided to take on an apprentice, Ana replied:
“I have always been very passionate about helping young people. Basic business soft skills are not taught in schools, therefore for me, being able to support young people with teamworking, timekeeping, telephone and email etiquette is so important.
Being able to offer an apprenticeship at the Sussex Chamber has provided us with the opportunity to train and develop young people’s skills so they can develop their career further. Since I have been at the Chamber during the last six and a half years, we have taken on an apprentice each year. The fantastic news is some of these apprentices are still working at the Chamber in various roles.
Taking on an apprentice has helped improve productivity, improve the quality of our services and internal processes.”
With a collection of essential workplace skills including time management and multi-tasking gained from his apprenticeship, Jacob told us that he was looking forward to building on his confidence in his new-found abilities.
For any individuals considering taking the dive into an apprenticeship, Jacob advised to not be afraid to ask questions as you will not be expected to know all processes immediately.
Coronavirus restrictions meant Jacob did not celebrate his completed studies and new role in the way he had originally anticipated. However, he told us that he did enjoy a beer with his family and reflected on his achievements.