Meet the Apprentices - Meet Sophie Floyd, Tendring District Council

Each day during #NAW2020 we will be introducing you to inspirational apprentices and rising stars, working in Local Government in the East of England

Each day during #NAW2020 we will be introducing you to inspirational apprentices and rising stars, working in Local Government in the East of England, who blaze their own trail.

I have been working for Tendring District Council as an apprentice in Human Resources since July 2018, and haven’t looked back since.

The reason I chose to do an apprenticeship is because I felt it would be the prime opportunity to gain more qualifications, develop my business experiences and to earn while I was learning at the same time. Before my apprenticeship I was working part time in a local shop and studying business studies at Colchester Institute.

My experience working for local government has only been positive. I love the fact that the public sector allows you to make a practical and positive difference to your own community and society as a whole.

My biggest achievement so far being an apprentice is winning the ‘Embracing the Spirit’ award at the PPMA (Public Service People Management Association) Apprentice of the year event (out of 13 candidates). This programme is designed to test the personal qualities of its candidates, while also building their confidence, the event showcases emerging and promising talent within the public sector. I was very pleased to have been recognised with this award. The programme really helped to develop my skillset and prepare me further for my future career. My involvement in this national scheme was recognised, as I was featured in the Clacton and Frinton & Walton Gazette. I also got mentioned at Committee by the Leader of Tendring Council, Neil Stock OBE;

“Sophie is a fantastic talent within the People, Performance and Projects department here at Tendring Council – a role which sees her supporting a lot of corporate work right across the authority and she is heavily involved with the team”

“This award is justly deserved, and I think reflects not only a celebration of Sophie’s own fantastic talent, but is also a wider statement on the success of our Career Track team and the ‘grow your own’ ethos we have her at Tendring”

Within the first year of my apprenticeship I was highly involved in the recruitment and selection process, assisting Victoria Wicks (Human Resources Generalist) i.e. sending shortlisting, arranging interview invites, undertaking pre-employment checks etc, as well as supporting the team with other HR and Business related duties. For example, I manage the My Weight Matter programme on behalf of Ace Lifestyles. This is a free management programme for adults which follows NHS guidance and is evidence based – this very rewarding as you see change in attendee’s wellbeing and overall happiness.

I attend the Tendring IAG (Independent Advisory Group), this is a strategic group that gives Essex Police feedback in regards to how we can improve our community and services, I am there to support Anastasia Simpson (Head of People, Performance and Projects) and to represent the younger people of Tendring.

I take minutes for the following meetings; PPP managers meeting, Community Project Group and UNISON. Furthermore, I help with organisational events e.g. Tendring Job & Careers Fair, Employee Well-being week, Air show, Elections etc.

Whist undertaking all the duties listed above, I have now successfully completed my NVQ level 2 in Business and Administration.

During my level 3, I am going to be exposed to the wider functions of HR i.e. working on policies, understanding the restructuring process, using HR systems (Team Spirit), running reports, interpretinging data within the establishment for reporting on, for example, sickness absence, gender pay gap, pay etc. My provider has changed from Career Track to Blue Sky Professional Development and Colchester Institute, where I will be working towards my Level 3 CIPD in Human Resources.

Within the next 5 years I hope to be in permanent employment, working in a Human Resources department.

In conclusion, my apprenticeship has given me the experience I was looking for. It has filled me with confidence and I would recommend anyone to go for an apprenticeship as the lessons are invaluable and the possibilities are endless.

Apprenticeships give the opportunity to look beyond traditional routes into employment and allow you to explore a diverse range of career options in local government and beyond. Our #NAW2020 feature provides just a small taster of the true value that an apprenticeship can bring, to both individuals, local authorities and the wider community in the East of England.