Find your greatness with an apprenticeship – Meet Anna Webster

6th March 2018

In our latest “find your greatness with an apprenticeship” series, which celebrates National Apprenticeship Week #NAW2018, we hear from Anna Webster, who is a Landscape Projects Apprentice at Braintree District Council. Anna talks about her experience as an apprentice with the council, the opportunities it has given her, and her aspirations to continue her studies to go on to become a Chartered Landscape Architect.

“I began working for Braintree District Council in September 2015 as a Level 2 Landscape and Sustainability Apprentice. I applied for an apprenticeship to ensure that I was embarking on the right career path for me. Enlightened by pervious work experience, I knew that I wanted to be in a career that was rewarding, benefited others and that was fun. I wanted to make sure I was heading in the right direction before committing myself to a particular degree course.

“Before starting my apprenticeship, I was working as a tutor in Maths and English for children aged 4-14, studying for my A-levels and being a young mother to my new-born son. My previous job was wonderful however; I was on a small amount of hours. After my A-levels finished I needed something full time to provide for my family. I knew I wanted to work with the environment and in sustainability, so starting my career in the field I am passionate about seemed like a good next step.

“Being a Landscape Projects Apprentice in Local Government has been the most fantastic experience. It gives me a huge sense of job satisfaction because I can be part of providing a service that enhances communities and the spaces we live/work in. There has been a huge amount of training opportunities, especially personal development. The support I have received from my colleagues has gone beyond anything I ever expected.

“The benefits of an apprenticeship are vast. I think understanding the practical application of the job you want to do as well as the academic side is vital. An example of this being that I have and continue to learn the value and art of communication. You can discover new skills, mine being a love for computer aided design (which I didn’t even know existed, let alone knew there were whole jobs dedicated to it), and most importantly I have learnt to never give up on your dreams even when life becomes difficult.

“Apprenticeships give you access to careers that normally you would need a degree to even try out. They provide you with a doorway into your dream career. My advice would be to search your career path, understand it and go for it. You can now train right through the higher apprenticeship route or it will give you access to other training (like a university degree) that you need to progress further up the ladder - using the apprenticeship route you’ll have the job experience to go with it!

“I managed to progress onto a Level 3 Apprenticeship scheme and am now working in Landscape Projects alongside the District Landscape Architect and honestly it’s the best job I could have hoped for. It ticks all the boxes for me. It challenges me, it’s fun and dynamic because every day, and every project is unique and the people that I work with make it even better. 

“My advice for anyone wanting to work in Local Government is that it’s really worth considering. It is such a supportive environment to work in and you get the benefit helping to provide services that change people’s lives. Local Government provides a platform for huge job satisfaction because your job has meaning and purpose.

“In the near future I will be studying towards my BSc Hons Landscape Architecture degree and hopefully this will lead on to becoming a charted Landscape Architect. I am excited to continue on my journey of creating spaces that are practical, fun and sustainable in the hope to improve people’s quality of life.”
 
Sam Jenkins, Learning and Development Consultant at Braintree District Council added “Anna has had one of the most incredible journeys as an apprentice and as an organisation we are incredibly proud of her.  Not only has she achieved her level 2 with us, but is about to finish her level 3 and then start her university course in September. When Anna started with us, she was going through some major changes in her personal life, including becoming a mum to a little boy.  However she took all of this in her stride and juggled her job, studying for her apprenticeship, and learning to be a mum. Our apprenticeship programme allowed Anna the flexibility to manage all of these together. 

“She embraced the whole of her apprenticeship with passion and with the drive and determination to succeed and improve herself.  She took advantage of all of the self-development training courses offered, and would always apply the learning into her job role. When a member of her team left, Anna stepped up and took on more responsibilities which stretched her into different areas, all of which she managed well.  Anna is studying an area which will allow her to grow in Local Government, and will be a great asset to us going forward.”

 

Join our Get up and Grow campaign to raise awareness of the importance of apprenticeships to our organisations and economies and to help increase the number and uptake of apprenticeships across the region!

We are committed to helping to support the delivery of apprenticeship training; making sure that the apprenticeship levy money is spent in the most effective way. Working together is the best way to achieve this!

To share your apprenticeship stories get in touch with Emma Moore, Senior HR Advisor at the East of England LGA on emma.moore@eelga.gov.uk / 01284 758326

Find out more about the Get up and Grow campaign at http://www.eelga.gov.uk/employers-services/apprenticeships.aspx

 

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