Since 2010, more than 2 million apprenticeships have been taken up across a broad range of professional sectors. At the BRE Academy we are delighted to be part of this necessary up-skilling within our team, and would like to introduce our apprentice within the E-Learning team, Aaron Glazebrook.
We discovered what the BRE Academy apprenticeship experience is like, from Aaron himself and Pauline Traetto, Director of the BRE Academy.
Aaron (our ‘young apprentice’):
Aaron is completing an administration apprenticeship with Oaklands College in Hertfordshire, and has been with the BRE Academy for over 8 months, as part of his 18-month term. His main responsibilities include producing and developing interactive content for the BRE Academy e-learning courses – both for external customers and for internal departments within BRE.
1. Why did you choose to do an apprenticeship, and what appealed about this one in particular?
Gaining work experience was really important to me. Learning practical skills to apply later in my career was vital – in addition to gaining a formal qualification.
I was also interested in the built environment, and recognised the BRE brand as a positive place to work – so I applied and was delighted to be accepted.
2. What opportunities do you believe there are for apprentices and what skills have you gained during this apprenticeship?
Apprentices can use their hands-on experience to their advantage – allowing us to be more flexible through having had work based experience, as well as a theoretical knowledge.
Having the opportunity to improve upon and develop both my own work, and the work of other team-mates has given me more experience than formal education alone may have.
I have developed a working understanding of various software (for example, interactive content and design software), broadening my technical skills – something I was keen to develop further and I am excited to continue growing.
In addition to this, I have gained an understanding about the commercial environment, including building and managing internal relationships, external collaborations and interaction with clients and meeting their expectations.
3. What do you enjoy most about your apprenticeship and your role?
I enjoy working on ‘live’ projects, rather than just theoretical activities. This has given me a chance to experience and prove my skills in the real world. It has also taught me that my role and skills are important to the business and our clients – giving me more confidence in my abilities and adding to the team’s performance.
4. What are the key opportunities for up-skilling in industry?
E-learning has a huge opportunity for growth. It is surprising that many organisations in the built environment have not yet adopted this method of training as it is at the leading edge of communications as well as being cost effective.
I also believe that collaboration between different businesses to up-skill their members of staff is beneficial because learning from each other can help develop businesses and individuals further, rather than just working alone – helping the industry as a whole to progress and grow.
5. What would you like to do next?
I would like to continue working at BRE as there are plenty of opportunities to grow and develop both professionally and personally. Where I am now allows me to be both creative and customer-facing, whilst in a close-knit environment where teamwork is key and I would like to move forward in the future in this type of environment.
Pauline Traetto (MD of BRE Academy):
I believe that having experience as well as sound theoretical understanding is paramount to learning and applying skills and knowledge in the workplace.
Supporting people throughout their careers is at the forefront of the BRE Academy and as apprenticeships combine structured learning with practical application, it is a superb way of developing knowledge and up-skilling.
2. What are the benefits of employing an apprentice for the business?
I’m aware that recent studies have shown 90% of apprentices stay in employment after finishing their apprenticeship, with 71% staying with the same employer. This really shows the mutual benefits of investing time in people who will ultimately be the future of our businesses and industry.
3. How have you seen Aaron develop through his time at the BRE Academy?
At BRE, we are always looking to develop the leaders of the future. Since Aaron joined the team it has been great to see how other team members can learn from his formal college projects and skills, giving a wider knowledge, different perspectives and, well-rounded information to the work that we do for our customers and partners.
Recently, we were really proud to present Aaron with a BRE staff award, which recognises the level of hard work and dedication he has shown, along with the skills he has developed.
4. What do you see as the future for young people in this industry?
Digital learning is increasingly vital in delivering today’s corporate and personal development strategies. Incorporating knowledge and experience in this field gives the younger generation a brilliant opportunity to develop and grow and bring the transformational change we want to the industry.
5. Where do you see the relationship between apprentices and the current skills gap we are seeing in the industry?
At the BRE Academy, we are keen to explore the skills gap and education needs of individuals and organisations across the industry. We are proud to be part of a growing number of companies to benefit from the enthusiasm of apprentice talent.
This allows us to mould and develop our business into the future and pro-actively work to provide individuals at the start of their learning journey with the skills needed to meet and exceed industry requirements.