National Apprenticeship Week 2024

Julia Davies

Tell us a bit about your apprenticeship role.  

I took on ILM5 in Operational and Department Management and Leadership in my role as the interim Programme Manager for the Housing and Regeneration Programme.  

What made you want to do an apprenticeship?  

Although I already had a bachelor's degree in business administration, being a keen advocate of life-long learning, I was looking for an opportunity to refresh my leadership and management skillset.   It felt that this apprenticeship could offer a good opportunity to do this and I also appreciated its particular focus on the UK public sector.  This qualification came with an opportunity to learn from and network with the participants in the Combined Authority’s regional delivery partners, which I found valuable. 

What advice would you give to someone considering an apprenticeship? 

  1. The apprenticeship will take a lot of your time and dedication.  Consider your career aspirations before signing up to the course.  Will this qualification take you where you would like to be in the next 5 years? 
  2. Consider your current role.  Will it enable you to collect sufficient information to evidence the competencies of the apprenticeship standard, such as team, budget and change management? 
  3. Talk to your line manager.  Their commitment to support your learning will be crucial, as they will be able to provide you with opportunities to succeed in you achieving the qualification.  For example, if your current role doesn’t involve team management, your line manager could identify some opportunities to enable you to gain the experience of this while you are doing the apprenticeship.
  4. Manage your time wisely.  Juggling the demands of work and studies will be challenging, but you can certainly do it!

What have you enjoyed most about your apprenticeship? 

The workshops were interesting and engaging, and the tutor support was fantastic.  I found the presentations delivered by senior managers from SOLACE member organisations and learning about how our partner local authorities operate the most enriching part of the course. 

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

Everyone learns differently, but I found breaking up my assignments into small chunks that I could fit in-between my day-to-day tasks really helpful.  This provided variety to my work days and meant that I was able to manage my professional and apprenticeship commitments at the same time.  Forward planning and being disciplined about your time management are key.    

Anything else you’d like to add? 

If you are passionate about public service and see yourself as a future leader and manager but don’t have previous qualifications in leadership and management – go for it!  It’s a great and comprehensive course that will equip you with knowledge and experience you will need to achieve your career aspirations.  Plus, you will make some great connections along the way!   



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