An insight into our Business Administration Apprenticeship Programme

Congratulations to Lauren Prentice, working for Norton Hydraulics, on the completion of her Level 2 Business Admin apprenticeship. She spoke to us last week about why she chose to do an apprenticeship at In-Comm Training. 

Q1: When did you start your apprenticeship?

I started my apprenticeship with In-comm in April/May 2019. 

Q2: Why did you choose the business administration apprenticeship?

I left college because I wanted to learn a new skill and get paid to work. By choosing this apprenticeship, I was given the right guidance and course materials to enable me to progress within a company, which is what I am doing at my current position. From loading sales/purchase orders onto the system, I am now in contact with vendors to lower prices to meet our comfortability range.

Q3: What is your job role?

At Norton Hydraulics, my job role is Sales Administrator, meaning that I process sales and purchase orders as well as contacting various customers and suppliers.

Q4: What does your typical day look like?

My day begins with sorting and filing delivery and despatch notes into numerical and alphabetical order so that we can track what comes in and what goes out. 

Throughout the day, I answer incoming phone enquiries and deliver precise information to solve queries and upload sales and purchase orders onto the system. This requires me to upload correct cost and sales prices onto the system, including any discounts we may receive from our supplies or give to customers. 

Every day I complete the outstanding order report which is a report generated from our system that tracks purchases that have surpassed their delivery date. This task entails contacting the vendor to gain reasoning of why the products are late to us. It is then my role to adjust the new delivery date on the system which will then remove the order from the report. 

Q5: Can you tell me about 3 things that you have learned during your apprenticeship

1: Skill – communication. My communication skills have significantly improved due to answering incoming phone calls and making calls to vendors or customers. By doing this, I now speak confidently on the phone and provide solutions to any queries that customers may have. 

2: Knowledge – My knowledge of different support networks available to me has significantly increased. 

3: Attitude – I have become more understanding to other colleagues, I offer assistance when I notice that they are struggling with their workload. 

Q6: Did you find any part of your apprenticeship difficult or challenging, if yes can you please explain? 

At the beginning of my apprenticeship, I found it hard to manage both apprenticeship work and job workload. Once speaking to my assessor, she offered more guidance and then I was able to time manage both workloads so that it became easier for me to do both. 

Q7: What are your next steps, or progression route?

My next steps are to look for further guidance on a purchasing route within my current company as this is an aspect of the company that interests me. 

Q8: How have In-comm helped you?

In-comm guided me through each stage of the apprenticeship. By having this support, I didn’t feel as though I struggled as much as I potentially would’ve without the support. Additionally, the workshops on at the premises helped me to build confidence when communicating with new people. 

Q9: What advice would you give to someone starting their apprenticeship this year?

My main piece of advice to someone starting an apprenticeship would be to manage their time and workload. It can be very difficult balancing job workload and apprenticeship workload. However, once a balance has been achieved, it becomes a lot easier and less pressurised to complete work. 

Q10: Any tips?

For new apprentices: Have an open mind, ask for help where guidance is needed, email assessors with any queries that you may have, attend as many workshops held at In-comm as possible.