Sophie Timbrell

Apprenticeship case study

Sophie Timbrell

‘Work, earn and learn at the same time’ with apprenticeships

City of Bristol College’s Sophie Timbrell felt ‘incredibly supported and celebrated’ after switching to an apprenticeship in Business Administration Level 3 and now she works as one of the college’s Curriculum Administrators.

Sophie started her apprenticeship at the College in June 2018 and quickly joined the staff team in April 2019. She opted for an apprenticeship in the hope of gaining a new qualification to widen her career prospects after working in retail for a number of years.

She said: “I found being an apprentice at City of Bristol College a little hard at first, I definitely struggled with essays however I was fully supported by my assessor and tutor whenever I was struggling. The overall experience and when I was made redundant from my last company, the College supported me to find new employment through them to finish my apprenticeship and then I went on to secure full-time employment at the college.”

Sophie came to the college after a negative experience with another provider who were responsible for her apprenticeship at The Leaving Care Company. But, when speaking to another apprentice at the same company, Sophie was able to enrol at City of Bristol College while still staying at the welfare company, saying it was ‘more reliable, contactable and much more supportive than the previous provider’.

Sophie said: “The main benefits of doing an apprenticeship for me was being able to work, earn and learn at the same time. You are still able to get established within a company as well as improving your skillset and gain a qualification. This suitable me best as I could not afford to pay for the course I wanted by also helped me to still be independent.”

The Curriculum Administrator found she had options of what units she could take and was able to tailor the curriculum to suit her working environment, meaning she could pick topics most related to her and also choose new challenges.

She added: “An apprenticeship is also free which meant I had no fees and no need to take loans out in order to secure a new qualification. The company paid for my apprenticeship and, as a result, they were more invested in my learning. They were also really supportive with catering my workload to match my units.”

Through an apprenticeship, Sophie was given the ‘space to learn’ as well as get the support she needed to develop her current skills and learn new ones. She now hopes to progress within City of Bristol College by working in different departments and moving up the ladder.

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