National Apprenticeship Week 2024

Jo Wilkinson

Tell us a bit about your apprenticeship role.

I am currently studying for an Executive Leadership Level 7 Apprenticeship at the University of Leeds. It involves taking one day a week out to study and for each learning block, there is one face to face day at the University and 2 online webinars.  The programme is set up to increase my knowledge of leadership, gain a good understanding of the latest business and management theories and then see how to apply them directly to my work. 

What made you want to do an apprenticeship?

I was really keen to do some training that would underpin the knowledge and skills I already have with academic theories and business practices. This programme covers essential topics like strategic leadership and organisational development, which I believe will help me make better decisions in my job. It’s also supporting me to develop my managerial skills in areas such as critical and analytical thinking, decision-making, negotiation, problem solving. 

What advice would you give to someone considering an apprenticeship?

Make sure it’s something you really want to do because it is a lot of time commitment.  You need to be really organised and strict with the time you put aside each week to do the modules and stick to it, otherwise you’ll find yourself trying to catch up at weekends.  Be realistic about your own learning style as well.  There is a lot of self-directed learning and whilst there are some videos thrown in, there is a lot of reading to get through.  

What have you enjoyed most about your apprenticeship?

I am really enjoying writing the Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours which all go towards the end point assessment for the Apprenticeship. They allow you the opportunity to evidence the knowledge you’ve learnt and how you’ve used that knowledge in the workplace, with live examples. There are a lot of them, and they run alongside the assignments you have to complete for each module, so near that in mind when considering an Apprenticeship. 


How do you manage your work-life balance with completing an apprenticeship?

I have set every Friday aside as a study day and I’m very strict with it.  If I didn’t, I think I would end up using my weekends or evenings to get through everything. 

Taking on this Apprenticeship has been a steep learning curve, being out of education for so long.  Learning how to write academic assignments hasn’t been easy, but the rewards I’m already seeing in terms of the knowledge and skills I am gaining, and being able to use those practically in my job is really worthwhile. 

Are you wanting to find an apprenticeship opportunity of your own? Contact our Employment Support team to find out more. Click here.