Ellie-Mae Rogers (17) left school in 2016, eager to experience the world of work and develop her career through an apprenticeship. A matter of months later, Ellie-Mae was accepted onto a Level 2 Contact Centre Operational Skills Apprenticeship with Just Contact, a commercial business and apprenticeship provider working with City of Bristol College.
Based in South Bristol Skills Academy, Ellie-Mae works within a rapidly expanding team of sales advisors. A year and a half since joining the company, she is now in full-time employment, working as Team Leader for a specific area of the Just Contact Team, managing a team of six. She has also recently been nominated for Apprentice of the Year.
Ellie says: “I was looking for a job for a while after I left school. I read up about this role and I came for an interview. My manager, Iain, explained to me what the role and apprenticeships entailed, and it just sounded like the type of thing that I wanted to do so I decided to sign up.
“I’m really passionate about it. I love speaking to different people every day and undertake lots of duties that come with the job role. I feel like I have had the best training from my manager and my college assessor also helped me a lot. They have both pushed me to the best of my ability and to be the best I can be.
“I was offered the job of Team Leader 11 months into my apprenticeship and now I manage a team of six people. I also support the company with training new apprentices as well as during job interviews, which is another life-long skill under my belt. ”
Just Contact began working in partnership with City of Bristol College 2 years ago, taking on 20 apprentices in the first year. They aim to equip them with basic communication skills, while they work through the requirement of the apprenticeship with their assessors and the college.
Iain McGregor, Managing Director at Just Contact says: “For us, it is all about getting our apprentices to the end of the 12 months successfully, so we can consider offering them a full-time job with us or giving them the best chance of developing their career further with another employer.
“Ellie is a living, breathing example of what can be achieved. She has gone from apprenticeship level work to doing everything from dealing with people’s bank details and setting up direct debits, which obviously entails a level of trust and also a higher level of understanding of what’s going on within the company."
Daniel McHugh, Senior Business Partnerships and Enterprise Manager at City of Bristol College commented: “Ellie is an excellent illustration of the benefits of investing in an apprentice as a business. Just Contact have developed a programme that has devoted a large part of the growth of their business to the recruitment and progression of apprentices. As a College we have a strong belief in organisational investment in young people and upskilling of the workforce. Working in partnership with employers is the key to successfully achieving this aspiration.”
To find out more about apprenticeships, visit the College during its upcoming open day on Saturday 17 March 2018, 10am - 1pm at South Bristol Skills Academy. For more information, browse our website or call 0117 312 5000. To find out more about Just Contact, please visit www.justcontact.co.uk.