A 21-year-old woman from Pennywell, Sunderland, is using her retail apprenticeship to improve her skills and gain qualifications. But for Lauren Brogan, building independence through having a job means much more to her. It is also a means of supporting her six-year-old brother for whom she has parental responsibility.
Lauren won her place at college after leaving school, but soon realised that further education wasn’t for her and she sought other opportunities to make personal progress. With the support of training and skills provider Ingeus, she embarked on an apprenticeship at the Poundworld store at The Galleries shopping centre in Washington, and is flourishing in her job.
“I’m about three-quarters of the way through my year-long course, and I’m loving every minute!” said Lauren. “I really feel as though I have found my home here. Everybody has been really supportive, including my Ingeus training advisor Ali Talbot and my manager and colleagues here at the store. I want to do well, for myself, and for all those who have had confidence in me and shown me kindness. And, of course, I want my brother to have an enjoyably childhood and see that working hard brings its rewards.”
Lauren and her brother have just returned from their first ever holiday together, made possible because, alongside learning, her apprenticeship means she is being paid as well.
“It really is the best of both worlds,” she added. “I’m improving my skills all the time, and drawing a wage, which is very welcome. It means I can further my career and afford to support myself and my brother, too.”
Lauren is responsible for cleaning goods, toiletries, first aid and beauty products at the store, replenishing stocks, keeping her aisle clean and tidy, and helping customers.
“It’s easy to see why she is being so successful,” said Ingeus’s Ali Talbot. “She has the right approach and attitude and is determined to make a better life for herself. When she finishes her apprenticeship she will have earned an NVQ Level 2 qualification, which will stand her in good stead as she builds on her career. Lauren is a really great example of how an apprenticeship should work, personally and for her employer.”
For more information about apprenticeships and how they might work for you, please go to http://www.ingeus.co.uk/training