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My Life as an Apprentice – National Apprenticeship Week

As a firm we actively support the Apprenticeship programme and currently have three apprentices with us under Business Administration. As it is National Apprenticeship Week, we thought we would ask one of our recent graduates from the apprenticeship programme, Jaspreet Gill, about her time as an apprentice and how she feels this route had benefited her.

Jaspreet successfully completed her Apprenticeship in Business Administration in January 2020 and works within the firms Residential Property team at our Darlington office.

Why did you choose to take the Apprentice route?

I chose to do an apprenticeship as I didn’t think that carrying on school life would be the best choice for my career development. I wanted to try something a bit more ‘hands on’ and gain real experience as to what working life would be like. I thought that an apprenticeship would enable me to gain more skills and knowledge than just going to college would as I would be working full time whilst also gaining a qualification.

How have you found your time as Apprentice?

I have found my time as an apprentice enjoyable as the working environment itself has been enjoyable to be in. I have never felt as if I have been treated differently for being an apprentice and from the day I first started I have felt welcome and a valuable member of the team. I was always given as much support as possible with regards to college work and the time I was taking out to attend college and i do not think this impacted on my role.

What sort of things have you been doing for the firm as an Apprentice?

Initially I carried out general administration duties, such as working on reception, post collection, scanning documents into the firm’s case management system and other basic functions required to keep a business functioning. As I progressed through my apprenticeship I moved into audio typing for two or three solicitors within the firm and ultimately moved towards becoming a Legal Secretary ending my apprenticeship  in the Conveyancing department which is what I am currently doing now.

Do you feel the Apprenticeship has developed you as a person?

I do feel like this apprenticeship has made me a lot more mature.I have continually gained experience throughout my apprenticeship as I have had exposure to different tasks and worked within different departments.  This has given me more confidence in being able to do my job unaided without fear of mistakes.

My communication skills have significantly developed as I have daily contact with clients, both on the telephone and via email or writing. This of course includes technology and working  with IT programmes and computer systems in an office environment has exposed me to more experience in the standard Microsoft office programmes and other 3rd party software applications used by a law firm.

By carrying out the administration duties at the start of my apprenticeship I have gained a valuable insight into the importance of these tasks and how they impact on the firm’s overall operation. There is a great team spirit in the firm and every member is valued as everyone understands that each persons work is vital to our continued success.

Due to working in a law firm I have also gained a greater understanding of legal processes and how the law impacts on everyday life. The legal process for dealing with property sale or purchase for example is more complex than some members of the public are aware of and the extend that solicitors go to safeguard clients in their biggest capital purchase is not always appreciated.

At the end of the Apprenticeship do you feel like an integral part of the team?

I absolutely feel like an integral part of my team and following my apprenticeship I was really happy to remain with the firm in Conveyancing Department.  The work itself is interesting, I am continuing to learn and work with a great bunch of people.

I have also recently been a made one of the First Aid members in the firm and have had the opportunity to attend courses to continue my development in this role.

Any other advice for people considering doing an Apprenticeship.

Make sure you choose an apprenticeship within a sector you would be happy working in and to stick at it no matter how hard it may seem or if you feel like you aren’t making a significant impact to your workplace. An apprenticeship is a great way of starting a career without going through higher education and sets you up for working life after school.

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