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Together apprentices in reception.

Opening the doors to a new career - Apprenticeships with Together.

02 Feb 2024 | 6 min

Supporting ambition from whatever the starting point is, is very much part of Together’s DNA. Our purpose is to help the underserved gain access to the finance they need to realise property ambitions and feel strongly about supporting our customers on their investment journey.

And, our commitment doesn’t end there. We’re committed to our colleagues and communities to support them by playing a part as an employer and local business to share our knowledge and empower others.

National Apprenticeship Week 2024: 5-11 February

This year, we are embarking on Together’s 8th year of our apprenticeship scheme, where we take an annual cohort of school and college leavers and introduce them to the workplace, teaching new skills to help launch the start of a rewarding career.

We caught up with Natalie Newton, Talent and Recruitment Partner at Together, to learn more about the scheme and why Apprentices are so valued by the company.

Why did Together set up an Apprenticeship scheme?

We already have a strong history of young people coming to work with Together and forging a long term career with us. We’re hugely proud to see talent and expertise flourish and have benefitted from many colleagues enjoying a long tenure with the business.

We wanted to formalise our commitment to young people with a programme that was structured and deliver a stream of fresh talent to the various departments across the business. So far, we have had 60 apprentices come through our Apprenticeship Academy, and they are now adding value to our business, day in, day out.

How do you recruit for the scheme?

We work with local schools and colleges and visit local career fairs, as well as place advertising on our own careers site and well known job sites. Throughout the year, I work with key areas within the business to ascertain the need for each year’s intake and look to hold assessment centres in February.

What do you look for when recruiting?

Our business is fast, dynamic and entrepreneurial. We value ambition and drive and believe that skills and knowledge can be taught on the job. Some of our most senior people have worked their way up the ladder starting in entry level positions.

We look at specific roles that candidates can fit into or think of a varied approach to give a background in a number of departments ahead of settling into a full time role.

What qualifications are available?

Our apprentices are able to attain a nationally recognised qualification, which is aligned to the department and area of work they are in. Previous scheme apprentices have gained qualifications in areas such as business administration, content production, accountancy and finance, and business law, to name a few. What is important is that there is so much opportunity to grow and develop, and the freedom to find a specialism pathway for their future career pathway.

Let’s meet some current candidates on the scheme….

Megan Cassells, Solicitor Apprentice

When and why did you join Together’s Apprenticeship Scheme?

I joined Together in September 2021 as a Paralegal Apprentice and after a couple of months I progressed, transferring to be a Solicitor Apprentice. I joined the scheme as I wanted to get first-hand experience working in a legal team. A law degree is so overpopulated and I wanted to get my foot in the legal world sooner rather than later.

Did you know which field you wanted to go into when entering the scheme?

I knew that I had an interest in law from studying it at A-Level, but I didn’t have any legal experience before joining Together. I suppose I just wanted to give it a shot to see if I enjoyed this field of work… luckily I do!

What about the experience do you value most?

I value the hands-on knowledge aspect the most. I am learning new things every day to support my studies and what I am doing at university. Working on ‘real cases’ puts me ahead of the game from those at university who are just doing the studying aspect and not gaining practical experience.

I was dreading getting things wrong and that there would be too much pressure on my back. However, I have supportive colleagues who want me to succeed and support me whenever I get something wrong.

What role do you work in now?

I am still training as a Level 7 Solicitor Apprentice. It’s a six year course and can be quite overwhelming at times - but it’s still enjoyable. I am in the office four days a week and at university one day and anticipate to qualify as a solicitor in 2028.

Lia Crompton, Digital Journey and Content Executive

When and why did you join Together’s Apprenticeship Scheme?

I joined Together’s Apprenticeship scheme in May 2021. I applied to join after I lost my job at a local pub due to COVID and wanted to get into a position that would help me build a longer term career.

Did you know which field you wanted to go into when entering the scheme?

When entering the scheme, I had a slight idea of what I wanted to do, however I wasn’t 100% sure. After talking to Natalie Newton and informing her I’d like to do something more creative, she directed me to the Content Producer apprenticeship.

What about the experience do you value most?

I value being able to learn and earn at the same time whilst building knowledge and skills. The scheme has helped me become more confident in my role daily as I am around colleagues who have been working in the sector for years. They pass on advice and give an extra hand when needed.

The first lesson of my apprenticeship was coding straight off the bat. I had done it previously but didn’t think I could do it professionally.

What role do you work in now?

I still work in the same role as Digital’s Journey and Content Executive where I help maintain and optimise the company website.

Emma Lambert, People Coordinator

When and why did you join Together’s Apprenticeship Scheme?

I joined Together in September 2021 as a People Apprentice. I knew that a lot of workplaces now value experience over qualifications, so I was more keen to start my career than go to University.

I saw Together had a lot of opportunities for apprentices and researched the company before applying. I knew it would be an environment I would love, and that it would support me with my studying alongside working. I knew I would be in safe hands.

Did you know which field you wanted to go into when entering the scheme?

I didn’t know an awful lot about HR before I joined. I knew the basics but was so surprised that there were so many teams within HR. It’s an umbrella for departments such as Payroll, Talent Development, Recruitment, People Partnering, Employee Relations, Employee Experience, Data, Risk and Governance etc.

What about the experience did you value most?

I valued the opportunities that Natalie organised for us, such as the Academy celebration event, the Exec Round Table Events and Coffee and Cake sessions. They really helped me network with other graduate apprentices across the business, as well as engage with some senior stakeholders. It is helpful to build connections for me and my team, and it’s pushed me out of my comfort zone, which I wouldn’t have done otherwise. It taught me that even if I feel nervous, I will be able to do it.

Organisational skills are really important in my role, and are used every day, being able to keep on top of a lot of ad-hoc tasks. I’m still improving in this area and I have come a long way from when I first joined.

I have really enjoyed developing my conversational skills and confidence, and meeting new managers and colleagues everyday has been a part of the job that I love. I’m a people person so to be able to talk to different people about different things every day is great from a learning and networking perspective.

Attention to detail is something that shocked me because the admin side of the role requires you to keep a close eye on information you are sending out to the business. Information such as letters, minute-taking, salary and role changes are key elements of my role, and I have really worked on having a keen eye for detail.

What role do you work in now?

I work as a People Coordinator in the Pople Operations Team. When I joined as a People Apprentice, I started in the Talent Development team for 5 months before moving into the Employee Relations and Operations team. I complete tasks such as colleague lifecycle activities, processing family leave, being a first point of contact for mailbox queries, and notetaking.

Any interesting anecdotes from your Apprenticeship experience?

I have been back to my old high school to take part in one of their career fairs. It was so lovely to see all my old teachers and show them what I had done after leaving college. It felt really good being proud to be able to tell them what I had done next.

For more information on our Graduate and Apprenticeship schemes at Together, check out the Together Academy page on our website.

 

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