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An insight into apprenticeships from our employer partner Kanes Foods Ltd.
My name is Aleksandra Rychlik and I have been working at Kanes Foods Ltd. since April 2005. The desire for learning and development has been always in my nature. I have been progressing within the business and I have accomplished to advanced further in my career due to the Advanced Management Apprenticeship I have been part of. I was promoted to the Training Manager role where I am able to adapt development plans and paths for the workforce. I am passionate about the job I do, and the impact my decisions may make in someone’s life. I love seeing people progressing while having fun and gaining knowledge and experience in their working environment. The business benefits from it massively as employees who are taking part in the apprenticeship programs learn new skills, techniques that are then adapted within the areas they’re working in.
I have so far managed to put 40 apprentices through several of programmes. One of them is Jonathan Davey, and this is his interview…
When did your apprenticeship begin?
My apprenticeship began in May 2019 and is due to run for 18 months until November 2020, however I am looking to have the course completed at the earliest opportunity which is May 2020.
Why did you decide to start the Apprenticeship and what does it mean to you?
I have managed people for over 15 years now and when the opportunity came up for me to do the NVQ Level 5 in Leadership and Management, I thought this was the perfect time for me to further my knowledge in how to be a better leader and manager for my team. I have always been driven to be the best person I can be and to provide an environment where my team members can enjoy their work and be happy to express themselves. This course has given me the tools and understanding of how I can support my team to achieve what they would like to achieve.
How it affects you and the business you work for?
I feel I am a little calmer and maybe more understanding of individuals and their circumstances which ultimately enables me to make better decisions that are not based on emotions. I would say my team is very settled and work well together which from a business point of view is great. I have definitely learned new methods and styles of leadership that I can utilise more in certain situations and it has also helped me realise that a lot of what I do is ok.
What have you learned so far and how does this benefits yourself and the business?
There have been several modules on the Diploma based around change management, decision making and strategic business management. Only recently we re-structured the department where redundancies were unfortunately inevitable which happened to co-inside with the change management module I was doing at the time. It was a particularly tough period where you know you have to let people go, which as a manager can be very difficult with people you have got know. I followed certain processes I learned on researching the course and dealt with the difficult situations and confrontations in a manner where the decisions made were accepted by the team. I have always tried to put people first as I believe if you look after the employee, they will look after the interests of the business, which is the main reason I believe we have a good team relationship and work ethic.
What would you say to someone who is not sure about starting the apprenticeship?
I would probably ask them why they are not sure about starting the course to try and work out what their reservations are. The course is a big commitment of your time and effort as the amount of research and written work that is required is a lot, but with most things, you get out of the course what you put in. I would encourage them to put as much effort in as possible, particularly the research as I started finding out more about myself than I ever thought I would. This course is not only there to teach you about things you don’t know, it has taught me that there are plenty of the theories and methods that I already use. Enjoy it, and be prepared to learn plenty about yourself and ways in which you can improve.