Katie Ford has gained valuable experience, a wage and a job which enables her to work away from her desk, thanks to an apprenticeship with Unitas.
The 17-year-old Safety, Health and Environment (SHE) apprentice has been at the Stoke-on-Trent council housing maintenance and repairs company for a year and a half.
She began her role be taking an NVQ Level 2 Business Administration Apprenticeship in the first year and has been doing an NVQ Level 3 Occupational Health, Safety and Environmental Apprenticeship over the last six months.
She said: ?My favourite thing about working at Unitas is how friendly all the staff are and how well everyone gets along with each other. If I am ever struggling with my work, I always feel comfortable to ask for help and support.?
Katie, from Burslem, wanted to gain the right knowledge from experienced staff to develop job-specific skills, and by doing an apprenticeship she was able to earn a wage at the same time.
?I was attracted to Unitas as an employer because the apprenticeship scheme is locally-based, serving public sector community needs and providing exciting challenges within a progressive environment.
?What I enjoy the most about my apprenticeship is that 50% of the time I am out of the office doing inspections on planned sites and void properties, which I find really interesting, and this means that some days I?m not working at my computer all day.?
Katie has learned how to carry out health and safety inspections, write corresponding reports, develop toolbox talks and she has attended many health and safety training courses. She has been involved in health and safety groups, such as environmental and wellbeing groups, and has developed various health and safety posters and educational notices.
She added: ?What I enjoy the most about my apprenticeship is carrying out health and safety inspections; this is because I like to see what the workers are doing and I feel as though every time I go on a site inspection I learn something new. I?m getting used to what we have to look out for, e.g. PPE, documentation and site welfare.?
By doing her Business Administration apprenticeship first, she experienced a couple of weeks working with the health and safety team and went on site inspections, so she had a good idea of what work to expect before starting her SHE apprenticeship.
?My biggest achievement so far during my SHE apprenticeship is taking lead on an APR site inspection and typing up the APR report afterwards,? said Katie. ?I was able to do this by shadowing the SHE advisors and watching how they carry out site inspections beforehand.?
To see what apprenticeships or job opportunities are available within Unitas,?click here.