National Apprenticeship Week: Atom’s apprentices share their experiences

07 February 2022

Community

Jonathan Smith
Jonathan Smith

This week (7th–13th February) marks the 15th National Apprenticeship Week, an event that celebrates the importance of apprenticeships across the UK. These programmes offer valuable career opportunities and vital routes into so many professions, and NAW plays a key role in raising awareness in the employment sector and beyond.

Over the course of the week, it’s important that we take time to highlight the great work and progress of apprentices, and that’s exactly what we aim to do in this blog post. So, we spoke to two members of the Atom bank team who are currently following an apprenticeship training route about their experience and plans for the future.

Taylor Farrington, Finance Apprentice

Taylor joined Atom bank in an apprenticeship role in July 2021.

I started my apprenticeship at Atom bank in July 2021 after finding and applying for the role through the Government’s Find an Apprenticeship search tool. I found it a very easy and smooth process to apply through, and when Atom bank got in touch I was delighted to have been offered the chance to have an interview. Once I had received the invitation, I was regularly kept up to date and informed about the progress of my application and when I could expect to hear back.

I’ve been an apprentice for a while now and I’ve found that it’s very fulfilling. It gives me an important balance of gaining vital practical work experience while still allowing me to work towards gaining a high-level qualification at the end of the programme. I hope that I can go on to progress into more senior and managerial roles in the future — I’d love to run my own team and be able to pass on my knowledge and experience.

I would 100% recommend taking an apprenticeship to anyone who is thinking about it. As long as you are prepared for a slightly higher workload than going to uni, then it is definitely a great option — it’s the best decision I’ve ever made!

James Campbell, Junior Process Improvement Analyst

James joined Atom bank in a regular job role in January 2021 but had the opportunity to complete an apprenticeship with other members of his team.

When I joined Atom, my team were all looking to do a Level 3 Improvement Technician Apprenticeship and I was asked if I wanted to do it too. As my previous roles have been all about strategic and process improvement and it’s something I have been passionate about, but have never gained any formal qualifications in, I jumped at the chance.

I’m really enjoying the apprenticeship. As well as formalising and solidifying my existing knowledge and experience, it’s validating some of the good practices I have already implemented. I think the most enjoyable part has been learning new ways to present and use data to identify and quantify waste, which allows me to drive improvements within the business.

Going forward, I’m hoping that we can utilise our learning to identify improvements in how our team works, but also when we go out into the Operation so that we can demonstrate where we can improve things for our colleagues and customers using clear data. With this experience, I hope to explore project leadership opportunities at Atom, but at the minute, I’m simply interested in embedding the learning in my current role and excited to see the improvements we can introduce to the business.

I would certainly recommend an apprenticeship to others, as long as you’re prepared for the additional work if you undertake one alongside your day-to-day role. But if your apprenticeship is chosen well, it should integrate into your role so that working becomes part of the learning. I would also recommend that anyone considering an apprenticeship looks for one in an area where they hold a passion because it’s always fun learning more about something you enjoy.

If you would like to find out more about apprenticeships or how to apply to one, you can visit the National Apprenticeships website for further information.