oday as part of Learning at Work Week we have a guest blog from one of our apprenticeship ambassadors Lauren Mayhew. Lauren is studying a Level 5 Operations Manager apprenticeship with Paragon Skills and in turn also manages apprentices in her team. Lauren gets to see a unique first-hand view of the benefits of seeing an apprentice’s development as they go through their course, as well as understanding what it is to study alongside them.
On this topic Lauren wrote –
I manage a large department of people and I’m lucky that members of the team want to further their careers and knowledge. I have the advantage of understanding the way Paragon Skills operates and the skills that can be developed by following an apprenticeship scheme alongside a role, especially where customer service is concerned. I know Paragon Skills are supportive, they use a good system to track/set work and I can get progress updates regularly. I have seen benefits as a people manager by watching my people grow, they have worked to understand how and why things work the way they do.
I have a fantastic Team Leader named Jo who is doing the L3 Team Leader apprenticeship with Paragon Skills. Being a proactive, approachable person is in Jo’s blood, but she has now developed her knowledge and skills in people management, operational tools, and everything in-between. As her manager I have seen her confidence grow and her communication skills flourish. She shows preparedness through planning and prioritisation and understands all of her people will have different needs.
Paragon Skills’ self-reflection modules and tasks have enabled Jo to empathise with people easily, making her realise everyone has different experiences, learns differently, and communicates differently. It has improved Jo’s patience and (although she was always approachable) you can clearly see how much Jo is valued by her people and her peers, and it isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ meaning Jo is tailoring the support she gives to others.
Having more commercial awareness and doing modules about how different parts of businesses come together has enabled Jo to understand priorities within the team and communicate changes easier to them; effective change management coincides with a knowledge of the business and how to communicate these to others, and Jo’s adaptation to different situations has also been key in this.
As a manager, having team members with skills and knowledge that someone else can put to life, assists me in developing them as people and building a well-rounded, effective department. I believe consistently learning is key to growing and success, so will always support the development Paragon Skills are offering.