National Apprenticeship Week 2021 will take place from the 8 to 14 February 2021. This week is an opportunity to shine a light on the achievement of the apprentices and helps to highlight the opportunities that an apprenticeship brings to employees, employers, individuals, and the economy.

St Petrocs has a team of over 40 staff, many of which have been with St Petrocs for a long time. Results of the recent Investors in People survey showed that 97% of staff felt that the organisation achieves positive outcomes because it takes the time to train, support and invest in its people.

Steve Ellis, Chief Executive of St Petrocs, said “We are proud to be associated with the apprenticeships scheme and we support apprenticeships as an investment in young people starting on their working careers, developing their talents, and building their skillset so that they can make contributions across all parts of society.”

St Petrocs employs apprentices in both the Admin and Finance departments and the newest recruit, Jamie, started in September 2020, as the Trainee Finance Officer undertaking an AAT Apprenticeship Level 2 in Accounts. Jamie is the third St Petrocs apprentice recruited since these roles were created within the charity in 2017.

Jamie was asked whether he would recommend an apprenticeship? And he said ”I would recommend it 100%. There can be a stigma that apprentices are just there to make cups of tea, but it’s not like that at all. With St Petrocs I feel I’ve been given a lot of responsibility. Instead of shadowing someone, I’ve learnt on the job and I’m responsible for my own section of the accounts, which I really like.”

When asked how he his finding working at St Petrocs so far Jamie said “It’s a great place to work, everyone is so warm and bubbly. It feels really good to back the community. It is such a good cause, and I can see the impacts via our CEO Steve’s weekly staff updates. I find that seeing the number of people being housed, and the new properties we have been able to open, it all just gives me motivation and is very enjoyable. And it is so nice to see grants and donations come in as it shows the support for this cause.”

We asked Jamie what his favourite part of the role is and he answered “It sounds really boring, but dealing with the end of month analysis and the spreadsheets. I’ve also really enjoyed keeping track of the Christmas Appeal. Every week I was watching the donations coming in through four different channels, e.g. website, bank account, etc. It was really interesting to see how a charity operates at that time of year and to feel a part of it all.”

In addition to building a company’s skills base, providing quality training to apprentices can also bring benefits in terms of staff retention, and that has certainly been the case at St Petrocs with two of our full-time employees, Izzy our Office Administrator, and Tyler our Finance Officer, both having started out their career as apprentices with St Petrocs.

Tyler, who started out his career at St Petrocs in 2017 has now completed his qualification and speaks fondly of his apprenticeship experience “I found it really beneficial putting what I learnt at College in to practice at work during my Level 4 AAT apprenticeship. It was a great way to get a qualification whilst learning on the job.”

Tom, HR & Office Manager at St Petrocs said “We’ve been privileged to work with some fantastic young, talented individuals who are hungry to learn. Organisations might feel discouraged by the amount of investment required with an Apprenticeship, but we’ve experienced substantial benefits from developing young people right at the beginning of their careers.”