Apprenticeships: An opportunity to learn every day
If you are searching for a career change, or just starting out in your career, apprenticeships give you the opportunity to learn every day in an area that you love.
It allows you to progress quickly by applying your formal learning in real life situations, with the support of experienced colleagues.
We started our new roles as Data Science apprentices in September 2020. Our typical work week consists of 1 day of formal training (learning about relevant subjects), followed by 4 days of on the job learning and project work. This gives us the opportunity to apply our learning from our formal training to real-life projects, whilst also gaining new skills and experience working through projects as part of a team.
At the start of the pandemic, I was placed on furlough in my previous job. This gave me time to reflect on what I wanted out of a career. I realised that I wanted a way to develop my skills with data and statistics. I came across this apprenticeship at Audit Wales – it seemed like the perfect way to develop my skillset in this area, whilst gaining practical experience doing something I enjoy. ‘What an opportunity!’ I thought, deciding to apply without a second thought.
This apprenticeship certainly did not let me down! Since working at Audit Wales, I have learned many invaluable skills from a combination of university, on the job learning and working with my skilled colleagues. At Audit Wales, I am also given the opportunity to develop soft skills such as time management and communication, as well as the core data analytical skills required to be a data scientist. The support I have received from my team and Audit Wales has been second to none.
Being part of a team with an appetite for learning means I can bring my university knowledge into the workplace and apply my theoretical learning to real life scenarios and see real benefit. It’s exciting to see the ways in which my university learning can be applied in work, and I look forward to continuing to develop my skill set throughout the programme.
Similar to Bethan, the lockdown gave a valuable opportunity to step back and consider my next steps. After having an interest in data develop over time, I was keen to learn and work within the subject, in particular statistics. Considering my opportunities to learn, the apprenticeship in Audit Wales stood out with the chance to learn on the job as well as apply my learning to important and impactful work for the benefit of the public.
Throughout the apprenticeship there has been tremendous support and encouragement to help me develop. Colleagues have always been happy to help whether it be something study or work related. There has also been support for me to engage with particular areas of interest. This all has made the apprenticeship a fantastic experience.
One personal highlight for me is simply the opportunity to learn as part of a great team, it’s very rewarding and, fundamentally, helps me understand and solve problems. I’m looking forward to doing this more and more as the apprenticeship progresses.
We both feel extremely privileged to have been given this excellent opportunity to absorb knowledge daily and we cannot wait to continue our journey of learning and discovering in a field we love as part of Audit Wales.
About the authors
David likes to think about and discuss most topics as well as go for a walk in the countryside. Having studied Pharmacy at Sunderland University he worked as a pharmacist before undertaking various roles. Since working with data, he has developed a passion for statistics and using data for the public good. David is looking forward to learning and developing expertise as part of the Data Analytics team, as an apprentice in Audit Wales, to help develop data solutions.
Bethan Cairns enjoys walking her dog Poppy, baking, and having BBQs on the beach. She graduated from Cardiff University in 2018 with a degree in Optometry and after spending two years testing eyes, decided to start a new career in data analytics. She recently joined the Data Analytics team at Audit Wales as an apprentice. She looks forward to the excitement and challenges in store as a data Scientist!