My name is Rebecca Lomax, I am 21 and I am currently a HR Higher Apprentice at Bentley Motors. I went to Brine Leas Sixth Form, and studied Business Studies, English Literature and History. Whilst on the apprenticeship scheme, Bentley Motors Ltd. supported me through my studies to complete a Diploma in Applied Human Resources, accredited by the Charted Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD).
During college I had a drive to push myself and begin my career, and an apprenticeship seemed like the only viable route for me. I have always loved studying, and so being able to study towards my further qualifications whilst gaining invaluable work experience was the perfect option for me. I love working with people, and Human Resources is such a diverse function at Bentley Motors and I had already completed two weeks of work experience within the team prior to my apprenticeship that I felt like I would fit in straight away. A lot of my friends were applying to university at the time, and I struggled with the thought of making a decision that might not be right, but after speaking with Bentley Motors and the team that my apprenticeship was in I knew that this was the right route.
For me the best things about being an apprentice are the opportunities I have had, and the people I work with. I love that the tasks and responsibilities I have feed directly into the organisations strategy, and I can continually see how my work is impacting the organisations and the functions I work with. The hands on experience is something that I find invaluable, and something a lot of people my age can’t say they have at this stage in their career along with a professional qualification.
When I started the apprenticeship I think I was naive enough to think I would go straight into a role, hit the ground running and carry on with business as usual. For me the apprenticeship programme has fast-tracked my development in areas that I hadn’t previously considered, such as interpersonal skills and my confidence. I now induct all new starters into Bentley Motors, as well as lead a number of projects – responsibilities all of which I didn’t think I could do at the age of 21. The opportunities to put myself out of my comfort zone and take on tasks in areas where I now know I need development are now open to me, and the apprenticeship scheme has supported both my personal and professional development.
I think the apprenticeship scheme has boosted my career in the future, not only do I have more confidence, but also a better understanding of what kind of career path I want to take. Starting as an apprentice has increased my network both within and outside of my organisation, and given me invaluable business knowledge that will help me in my future career, I think both of these things are vital when progressing within any company.
My advice for anyone applying or considering an apprenticeship, is to ask as many questions as you can, and try to do extra activities outside of school/college/university to help you stand out.
There are so many opportunities for different apprenticeships now, with further education elements that you really don’t know what you will find until you start looking.
Growing up I never imagined that I would work for a prestigious company such as Bentley Motors, and look where I am now