Apprentices @ the Combined Authority: Steffi Nolan

Name of apprenticeship standard: APM Project Management Qualification
Level: 4
Duration: 2 years
Start date / end date: September 2021 to September 2023

Tell us a bit about your apprenticeship role

I undertake my apprenticeship alongside my day-to-day role of a Programme Coordinator in Delivery. The Project Management qualification will directly influence my work and provide me with improved knowledge on managing projects. I have one day a week dedicated toward apprenticeship learning, I attend college for classroom learning (currently held virtually) one morning a fortnight. I use the rest of my dedicated apprenticeship time doing work towards my college learning, reading the required texts, and reflecting on what work can contribute towards my experience. I only started my apprenticeship a few months ago so I’m not in the thick of all the work yet, but can already see how my work experiences will contribute towards the assessments I’ll have to undertake towards the end of the qualification

What made you want to do an apprenticeship?

I wanted to improve my knowledge and experience of project management and saw it as a real development opportunity. I knew a couple of people within the Delivery directorate who had also started on the same course, and it came highly recommended.

What advice would you give to someone considering an apprenticeship?

To make sure you and your manager understand the commitment required in terms of time away from work and opportunities you may need to seek out. I am lucky in that my manager is also doing an apprenticeship so understands what it’s like! Also, be very strict with yourself on study days, block it out in your calendar and only do apprenticeship work.

How has the pandemic affected your experience of the apprenticeship?

As I’ve not been doing my apprenticeship very long there hasn’t been a big impact. When I started the course in September we were doing classroom learning at Calderdale College but with the recent work from home guidance this has now moved to virtual learning instead.

What have you enjoyed most about your apprenticeship?

I am enjoying learning again and having something to study and revise.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I think it is really good that the Combined Authority support people to do apprenticeships and if there is a course relevant to a person’s role then they should explore this opportunity.