Name: Madison Shellis
Year Started (Apprenticeship): 2017
Current Position: Catering Services Apprentice
What did you do before starting the apprenticeship?
I had been studying Geology at Cardiff University for a short time but had realised that it was not right for me and a different style of learning would suit me better. I then began working in a lettings agency to gain some relevant experience before I found the apprenticeship scheme.
Why did you apply for the scheme?
I had decided that university was not right for me but I still knew that I wanted to learn and develop myself further. The apprenticeship scheme was the perfect opportunity for me as it would enable me to work towards a qualification with the benefit of earning a wage at the same time. I had recently moved to South Wales so I was excited at the thought of being able to learn about the new community I lived in whilst also being able to positively contribute towards it.
Another important factor was the reputation that Rhondda Cynon Taf Council held for their apprenticeship programmes. I had heard many positive things about the scheme, including the high quality of training and development given to their employees.
What development have you had since being with RCT?
In addition to working towards my Level 3 Diploma in Business Administration, I have undergone significant development and training since being with RCT Catering Services. I have been given a variety of training opportunities in many subject areas, including: Safeguarding Children & Adults Awareness, Working Safely, with The Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), Barista Training and Food Allergy Training.
Further to this, I have achieved Level 3 Awards in Food Safety in Catering, First Aid at Work and Paediatric First Aid. By then going on to complete a Level 3 Award in Education and Training and by working closely with Training Officers I have been able to deliver courses in these subject areas to both RCT staff members and the public.
By completing these recognised qualifications alongside on the job training I have been able to also develop my skills in communication, organisation, attention to detail and overall confidence in my abilities.
What were the highlights?
A highlight for me so far has been the variety of people I have been given the opportunity to work with, including other members of staff and members of the community. From encouraging primary school children to live a healthy lifestyle in the School Holiday Enrichment Programme (SHEP) and helping to deliver lunchtime meals to elderly clients with Meals on Wheels, I have been able to see first-hand the positive impact that the council has on the community and thoroughly enjoyed being able to interact and have discussions with different groups of people.
Recommendations to Applicants:
- If you’re unsure what you want to do next, seriously consider an apprenticeship as you never know what opportunities will arise and you may discover you enjoy something you never would have thought of before.
- Try to gain as much experience as you can, even if it is not directly relevant, you will learn valuable skills which you can use.
- Make sure to fully prepare for your interview by researching the job role and preparing answers for a variety of questions.