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National Apprenticeship Week: “Apprenticeship at Royal Star & Garter is the best thing I’ve ever done.”

In 2021, Olivia Watson discussed life as Royal Star & Garter’s Business Administration Apprentice, as part of National Apprenticeship Week. To mark this year’s National Apprenticeship Week, we’ve caught up with Olivia, 24, to find out what she’s been up to.

When I wrote last time, I was a Business Administration Apprentice, and I was working in our Surbiton Home. I did a number of roles, working on the reception desk, with Administration and Hospitality, and with the People Business Partner.

Since then I’ve passed my apprenticeship, which is great, and I’m working for Royal Star & Garter’s People Team, across our three Homes in Solihull, Surbiton and High Wycombe. I’m the eRoster & HR Systems Administrator. I work on the rostering and HR systems, and I’m very busy making sure they run smoothly for all staff.

I learned so much at Royal Star & Garter through my apprenticeship. It gave me the skills I needed for the next step in my career, and the foundation to step into a full-time role, which is quite a lot of responsibility.

An apprenticeship had always appealed to me because you gain hands on experience in the workplace whilst learning. You don’t stick to one area, you get to work in a variety of areas and learn and develop lots of different skills. I really enjoyed that, and I really enjoyed being in the Home and spending time with the veterans and their partners that the charity cares for.

Now that I’m qualified, I think that’s what I miss most about my apprenticeship. I loved getting to know the residents and forming that bond with them. I’m more office-based now and don’t do that as much. I really enjoyed it.

I’d 100% recommend an apprenticeship at Royal Star & Garter. I did my apprenticeship, I did my training while I worked, and I got a job off the back of it. It’s been win-win – I can’t describe it any other way. It’s been the best thing I’ve ever done, and I’m very happy with where I am.

If you are interested in an apprenticeship at Royal Star & Garter, please email Malcolm at malcolm.brown@starandgarter.org

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