Apprentices In Cars Getting Coffee | Part Two | #NAW2020
In part two, they discuss the pros and cons of the ILM course and the real tangible benefits of choosing the apprenticeship route over a traditional degree.
Matt: About two years into working at Morson I did a Level 3 Apprenticeship with ILM, the Leadership & Management course. It was my first look into studying leadership and management, motivational theory, those sorts of things. As a business unit leader building a team around me, I did think it was important to get that knowledge and understanding. I did it over an 18-month period. It was a really good experience and from that I looked at the Level 5 programme. Then the Apprenticeship Levy got introduced to try and incentivise organisations to put existing staff through further education.
Ben: It’s interesting that you should mention the ILM because that was suggested to me at first, but for me that didn’t feel right. I wasn’t really looking to go into leadership and management. As I said about all apprenticeships, make sure it’s the right thing for you to do. For me I would much rather have the skill in digital marketing to make myself more rounded. Then, if I wanted to go up into management, I’d look at the ILM. At this stage, it seemed silly to go into management when I didn’t know what all the team was doing.
Matt: See, when I was doing the ILM, I was already managing the team and thought that maybe some of the skills I might have lacked were some of the more leadership-focused interpersonal skills, coming from an operational background. I was a welding engineer by trade with Network Rail. I worked for them for 11 years. They have a good background in helping people progress and promoting from within. I spent months in their training schools but from there I wanted to do more. I’ve always been ambitious. The skills you can transfer are passion and enthusiasm and I certainly had those. It’s probably the engineer in me that’s helped because I always want to know how things work.
Ben: Yeah absolutely. Like taking apart toys when you’re a kid. I used to do that.
Matt: One of the biggest things for me is that affirmation of what you’re doing. How long did you have to wait before you could apply what you were doing in a degree?
Ben: While I was doing my degree, I was always doing freelance graphic design on the side. I still didn’t get a job in marketing. Morson was my first job in marketing. When I finished university, I took six months out for a gap year travelling and after I got back I worked in a call centre for two years. It was still two years before I could apply myself. I’ve always loved freelance but it’s very different from working in a corporate business. The skills I’ve learned from Morson have included working with people and working within a corporate business. Even the way you speak to people, how you structure an email!
Matt: I really do hope that going forward we can only increase the number of apprentices that we have and the number of qualifications we can do. I can only see it going up.