This week was National Apprenticeship Week celebrating the positive impact of apprenticeships on individuals, businesses and the economy. As a hiring manager at Wazoku, I have personally welcomed six apprentices over the last three years, and our newest and seventh apprentice joined just this week.
Our first apprentice, Marvyn, joined our QA team in January 2014. The programme was new to us and to him, but over that first year we witnessed first hand the value an apprentice can bring to a business, particularly a small business where everyone needs to jump in and contribute. Following his apprenticeship, Marvyn joined the team full-time, taking a leadership role on the QA team as a series of new apprentices followed in his footsteps, before finally moving on to a new opportunity in 2016. Although it was bittersweet to see him leave, I also knew that it was the success of the apprenticeship programme and his time at Wazoku that allowed him to spread his wings and embrace a new challenge.
Today the Wazoku family includes three former apprentices (QA and marketing) and two current apprentices (QA). They have each elected to pursue an apprenticeship for different reasons and have unique goals and aspirations.
Here are a couple of our former apprentices (now full-time employees) and their thoughts on the apprenticeship programme:
I really valued my time as an apprentice. It enabled me to jump straight in to working and start learning valuable skills for the future. I found taking an apprenticeship to be a great way to start understanding a professional working environment while still continuing my studies and developing myself as an employee. Where an apprenticeship really shines is being able to get real on-the-job experience, something you could never get through university. I feel much stronger as an employee after completing my apprenticeship, and was happy to have been offered a full-time position as soon as the apprenticeship was completed.
What I loved most about the apprenticeship programme was that I could gain work experience whilst learning; it was tiring, but well worth the effort. Wazoku was very understanding about my classwork needs; I never fell behind, because I had plenty of time to work on my course during work hours. The whole company was extremely supportive, even getting me a congratulatory surprise when my apprenticeship was completed. I’m actually leaving early today to attend my graduation this evening! I have loved the experience and the work that I’ve done, and I am fortunate to have been offered a full-time position at the completion of my apprenticeship.
At Wazoku we value our apprenticeships and the impact they have on the future of our organisation. We look forward to bringing on and working closely with many more apprentices in the future.
Chief Strategy and Product Officer