National Apprentice Week – Megan’s Story
Megan Crowley is currently completing a Higher Level Apprenticeship in ICT Security at Wales & West Housing. Over a year into her qualification, we caught up with Meg to find out about her course, her experience with Wales & West Housing and how her apprenticeship is helping to build her skills for the future.
Q: What initially attracted you to Wales & West Housing?
I think the ethics of the company and the people initially attracted me to WWH. After researching and finding that they were an award-winning company who are trying to make a difference, I knew I wanted to be a part of the team. I had never even thought about working in the housing sector before but just by reading the website I was invested immediately. Throughout my interview process, I met many friendly people who represented the positivity of the company and the core values which had a great impact on me. Everyone I’ve met at WWH loves their job, and this was a big attraction to me as I previously worked in a negative environment. I had always wanted to complete an ICT apprenticeship since I was young and as soon as the opportunity came up within WWH, it was everything I was looking for.
Q: Can you tell me a little bit about your apprenticeship: What is it? What is the qualification you will gain? How is your time split up?
I am currently completing a higher-level apprenticeship in ICT Security. Once I have completed this, I will gain a Level 4 qualification which is equivalent to the first year of a university degree. I work with a company called ALS alongside WWH where I have modules and assignments to complete. There’s a 2-year timeframe to complete all modules but I am currently set to finish 6 months early! This will mean I can spend more time engaging in the real work setting, work shadowing different departments in ICT as well as in the business so I can further develop my skills and knowledge.
“The people I have met within WWH have been super supportive and no one fails to help me when needed. I am always given all the resources needed to support my own learning and my time here already has exceeded my expectations.”
Q: What’s your favourite thing so far about your apprenticeship?
I love the balance of real work as well as writing assignments. Luckily for me, my line manager is super keen to utilise my experience here and will always ensure my modules in ALS link to the work we do in WWH. This helps me completely understand a module and we won’t move on until I do. From what I’ve learnt so far in my apprenticeship, I am already able to contribute meaningfully to projects and discussions, and this has made me feel that I am useful and a valued part of the team. I love learning and getting involved, the opportunities are endless.
Q: What has the support from WWH been like throughout your apprenticeship so far?
Even though I am an apprentice, I’ve never been made to feel inferior by anyone in the company as my opinions and thoughts are always heard. The people I have met within WWH have been super supportive and no one fails to help me when needed. I am always given all the resources needed to support my own learning and my time here already has exceeded my expectations. Being part of the Grow Our Own scheme has ensured I have learnt about the business as a whole which was a great opportunity as I had never worked in housing before. Starting in a new company can be daunting but having the Grow Our Own team who were in the same boat was a great support system.
Q: How has your time with WWH helped you to build your skills for your future?
I am constantly learning and building skills every single day. No day is the same and there’s always work to get stuck into. I have had the opportunity through Grow Our Own to work shadow different departments and it’s surprising how much you learn through these sessions. Not only has the apprenticeship built my skills in technology but WWH have helped me gain confidence and knowledge in daily life. There are so many interesting individuals in the business who will teach you something new every day. I’ve become a more positive and outgoing individual which inevitably has taught me a lot. WWH cores and values have made me have a different perspective on how I work and in general which I’ll forever be thankful for.
To find out more about apprenticeships at the Wales & West Housing Group head over to the Grow Our Own webpage, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.