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National Apprenticeship Week: Team Leader/Supervisor Apprenticeship Programme

Posted on 6 February 2024

This week is National Apprenticeship Week. Here we present two case studies of apprentices on the Team Leader/ Supervisor Apprenticeship Programme.

Sophie Godfrey

“Throughout all aspects of my role I try my best to put the service at the heart of what I do - to include providing an excellent standard of work for my team, our students and learners and fellow colleagues across the department and the wider University.”

Sophie Godfrey had over three years’ experience in Professional Services roles at the University, and was in her first team leader position supervising others when she decided to take part in the Team Leader/ Supervisor Apprenticeship Programme. 

During the programme she overcame challenges, including managing imposter syndrome and the high expectations she placed on herself. With support from her line manager and development partner, she began to appreciate her success on the programme and in her role. 

Sophie, who is an Office Coordinator in the Department of Health Sciences, said: “This programme will encourage you to explore yourself, your approach to tasks and leading others and how your role fits within the machine of your workplace.

“You may be presented with challenges, ones which you may not expect, however it is a thoroughly worthwhile programme with one of the best Development Partners and support systems available.”

Her long-term goal is to progress to a higher grade level in a role at the University. 

Nicola Lowe

An apprenticeship programme helped one learner gain new skills, build work relationships - and get a promotion. 

Nicola Lowe joined the Team Leader/ Supervisor Programme in December 2022 as part of the first cohort to begin this accredited apprenticeship course. Her role at the time was Administration Manager in the Department of Sociology.

Part-way through the course she applied for a promotion to Deputy Head of Faculty Operations. She used her experience on the course to fill in her application and prepare for the interview. The course had given her a better understanding of the workplace and her own work-related experience, and helped her demonstrate her thinking around the challenges of the new role.

“There’s no doubt that the course is challenging in terms of the time commitment and in applying newly learned content to the workplace. I found the course to be exceptionally valuable and definitely worth the effort required. Each module was of immediate and future benefit to me at work, and by extension to the people I work with and manage,” she said.

Each module contained an array of management techniques, theories and approaches. Nicola was able to find her preferred approach and apply them to her own workplace and challenges. She was also part of a group - an Action Learning Set - which worked together to identify solutions to real workplace problems.  

Nicola’s former line manager, Sarah Maynard said: “I could see Nicola’s confidence grow as the course progressed. The course is certainly challenging and a time commitment for both the attendee and their manager, but I found the structured approach to be useful in ensuring I put Nicola forward for new opportunities such as chairing department meetings and writing reports.”

Nicola’s line manager in her new role, Jamie Holliday (Director of Faculty Operations, Social Sciences) has supported the roll out of the new course to Professional Services staff in the faculty. Jamie said: “It was great to see someone in our Faculty gaining so much benefit from this course, to the extent of applying for and achieving a real step up to a new post via promotion. I know Nicola has found the course to be invaluable and that she continues to apply what she learned to her role leading the Department of Sociology. I’m hopeful that not only the Department but the whole Faculty will continue to benefit from similar success stories.”