There are a number of fantastic apprenticeship stories around all of the awesome businesses we work with at LDN Apprenticeships and having built up a great relationship with Clarion Housing Group – who currently have three LDN Apprentices on their books – it was the perfect place to head for our case study series!
With a number of offices around London, we went to see Reuben Bell in Clarion’s South London office, where Reuben is currently on our Future LDN programme as a Data Analyst apprentice at the largest housing association in the United Kingdom.
So we popped into their office to talk to Reuben about his decision behind starting an apprenticeship and what’s he’s currently learning within his role.
We also caught up with his line manager Rob Cheyne – the Finance, Compliance and Audit Coordinator at Clarion – to get his thoughts on hiring apprentices and how recruiting an apprentice like Reuben can benefit the business and his team.
Reuben started by telling us why he chose to do an apprenticeship and his decision to leave University after realising he wasn’t enjoying the course he had enrolled in.
“I wanted work experience and since this was my first job, I wanted something that would give me the necessary experience and confidence to flourish in this sort of environment.” Said Reuben.
“Within the first year of university, I realised I didn’t have much of an interest in what I was doing. I didn’t feel like I had a sense of direction and it wasn’t benefiting me. It was very expensive, so I decided to leave university and try a different path into work.”
After making the big decision to leave university and kickstart his career with an apprenticeship, it was now time to get a job!
Rob attended a Career Kickstarter day at our Lansdowne offices to recruit someone to work closely with him and help out with tasks and jobs as well as relieve some of the workload from his shoulders.
“We got to see a whole group of apprentices and what attracted me initially to Reuben was his knowledge and his attention to detail.” Said Rob
“He also seemed very level headed for someone at his age. This stood out for me massively when recruiting Reuben.”
After going for a work trial with Rob and Clarion, Reuben received the news he had been hoping for and got the job offer, meaning he could now start his apprenticeship journey with us!
Working in an office was going to be a completely new environment for Reuben and something he’d need to grasp relatively quickly. He explained what it was like learning the ropes when he started within his new role.
“It was a combination of ease and a bit of a challenge!
There were things I picked up quite quickly and enjoyed. It was mainly things like office etiquette which came as a bit of a shock.
Managing my time was especially difficult at first. It was very different to what I was used to but everyone was so helpful and welcoming, so the bedding in process was a really nice experience for me.”
Rob also enjoyed helping Ruben adapt at Clarion and got a lot out of helping someone at such a young age acclimatise into the workplace.
“The really enjoyable thing about having an apprentice in your team is helping them adapt into their first taste of work.
Reuben has been great at learning new skills and taking things on board and it’s been great seeing somebody learn from small errors and improve their confidence over a short space of time.
To see him grow and mature in confidence is so rewarding.”
In conjunction with his role at Clarion, Reuben is also learning skills and gaining qualifications at our Lansdowne Training Hub with his Learning Development Specialist, Dharam.
The Digital Project Admin pathway teaches apprentices valuable skills that can be transferred over into the workplace. Allowing Reuben to gain the knowledge and confidence needed to help Rob and the team at Clarion.
“The admin pathway has allowed me to develop my project planning skills and plan assignments around my working life.
Understanding how much time I’ll need to complete certain things and how that will effect the end goal in a specific space of time has been really helpful.
My biggest achievement since starting my apprenticeship has not only seen me boost in confidence, but also my organisational skills. I certainly feel much more comfortable in a professional environment.”
With Reuben now almost one year into his role at Clarion, it’s fair to say recruiting him into the data analyst role has been a huge success!
He is now able to save Rob and his team an incredible amount of time and lift the workload off of more senior members of staff.
“Reuben has saved us heaps of time!
We receive a lot of queries on a daily basis and he is always on top of addressing those, taking a lot of work out of my hands.
That’s helped me tremendously because I can now focus on more strategic issues like building and developing relationships.
Instead of looking down and rushing around trying to deal with data enquiries, I’m able to look up and support my programme lead.”
Having had Reuben by his side and helping for the past year, Rob shared some advice for other businesses who may be looking to hire and introduce an apprentice into their team.
“I would definitely recommend hiring an apprentice.
It’s been a great experience and it’s a really good opportunity to give somebody their first taste in work.
It has been interesting meeting other employers that have said to me they found apprentices have actually been more beneficial than their permanent staff!
I would definitely go back and recruit apprentices.”
For Reuben, the experience of learning and developing within the workplace has already seen his skill set and confidence increase so much in such a short space of time.
So what advice would he give to someone who’s thinking of taking up an apprenticeship?
“I’d definitely say do it!
“It’s not easy all the time, but it’s certainly worth the experience. Your confidence will just grow because you’ll always be challenging yourself and doing new things.
You can only really gain from an apprenticeship!”
Reuben and his team at Clarion Housing Group are a brilliant example of how apprenticeships work for businesses and for young people. Highlighting the need to futureproof their business with young talent and inject new ideas into the company.
Congratulations to Reuben on his continued success and thank you to Rob for all of the continued support he has given to him.
If you’re thinking of HIRING an apprentice with us, click on the link below to discover more!
If you’re thinking of BECOMING an apprentice, click on the link below and find out how!