TO coincide with National Apprenticeship Week, we're shining a light on the Bradford district's emerging workforce through a series of 'Meet the Apprentice' question and answer articles.

Name: Sofia Kousar

Age: 22

Apprentice Level: 3

Company they work for: Gem Compliance Training

Apprenticeship provider: Shipley College

Let's get into the Q&A...

How long have you been an apprentice?            

Previously I attempted a Business Analyst apprentice however that just wasn’t for me, so I made a change. I have been an apprentice for GEM ever since September and I am loving every moment so far!

How did you become an apprentice?

I reached out to the Shipley College Apprenticeships team and said I wanted to do a Business apprenticeship. They sent me vacancies every other week, and then I saw this one from Gem Compliance Training, they helped me apply for it, and it has gone from there.

What is your apprenticeship in and why did you choose this sector?      

I am now doing a Level 3 Business Administration apprenticeship. I knew I wanted to work in the Business sector, I did Business as one of my A Levels, and that was helpful for background knowledge, and helpful for my application.

What does your average working week look like?          

I work at Gem Training in Little Germany, near the city centre, on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, with Thursdays at Shipley College.

At work, I do things like:

  • Checking the progress of delegates video training and then following this up with an email reminder if needed.
  • Taking booking for the different First Aid and Health & Safety courses we have to offer at GEM.
  • Admitting delegates to the test system for their CITB tests.
  • Invigilating CITB Tests.
  • Following up any enquiries that come in via the website, phone calls or emails.
  • Answering inbound calls and making outbound calls.
  • Raise paperwork packs for Trainers

Why did you opt to do an apprenticeship rather than A Levels or a B Tec?           

I did do A-Levels, including Business, so I have some background knowledge in the subject.

I wanted to develop my practical skills further, so actually I chose the apprenticeship over going and studying Business at Uni.

What is your favourite part of your apprenticeship?

That has to be the fact that I started in September, and they named me as ‘Employee of the Month’ for October!!

I have a fantastic team at Gem, without them I couldn't have started so well in my apprenticeship. I really appreciate all their support and their time - they make sure I have everything I need to do well on a daily basis. They helped me to pick up the work really quickly, and they also like that I ask for something else once I have finished my work, so it is working well for everyone!

If one of your friends was thinking about doing an apprenticeship what advice would you give them?

I would tell them that an apprenticeship is definitely working for me for so why not give it a shot yourself?!

Once you are qualified what are your plans for your future career?

In the long term I see myself working within the Business sector and my apprenticeship is the gateway for me personally.

The apprenticeship is for 18 months, so I hope to be taken on full time after I get my qualification as I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me with GEM!

“Sofia has settled in fantastically; she is always eager, willing to learn and picks things up so quickly, she’s like a sponge, she soaks up the information like you would not believe.  Sofia has been here only for 3 months but the way she has responded to the post and the tasks given, it is like she has been part of the team forever. I’m so pleased that Sofia applied for the position with us here at GEM, she’s an absolute asset to GEM and our team”.

– Sam, Business Manager, GEM Compliance Training