From education to employment

How Avado personalise apprenticeships to unlock potential

The idea of working with data as a part of my everyday job has always excited me. I decided that I wanted to understand and analyse data more efficiently in my work, to become more qualified in the data analytics space, both on a personal and professional level. That’s when my company introduced me to Avado’s Level 4 Data Analyst apprenticeship, and we collectively decided that I would be a good candidate for the programme.

I was able to enrol on the apprenticeship alongside my current full-time job at Travis Perkins, at no detriment to my responsibilities. I hadn’t even considered that the apprenticeship route was an option available to me but the idea of working whilst studying was ideal. Learning through apprenticeships are great for young people, but also for those in established career paths. They also are a great way to climb the career ladder or invest in the personal, developmental or leadership skills that your company needs in the workplace.

From the moment I started the apprenticeship programme, I was learning skills and applying them to real work scenarios as a part of my portfolio. I immediately benefited from the learning provided by the Avado team, and so did the business. As a part of my portfolio, I began working with other employees outside of my everyday work team too and started to use the developed skills to help others in the business too. Because of this, this was definitely a win-win situation for everyone.

Though, what was supposed to be an 18-month programme lasted just over two years. Suffering a heart attack amid my apprenticeship resulted in extended leave from my job and learning. When I did eventually get back on my feet though, Avado and the tutors supported me to learn flexibly which was great. Now that I can reflect on this time, I can see that I particularly benefited from the blended learning approach here. I’ve studied at university before and instead of just reading huge textbooks and analysing huge amounts of information, the apprenticeship offered a combination of theoretical and practical learning combined with my daily tasks so that learning and working could co-exist and I wasn’t left feeling overwhelmed with both.

I officially completed the apprenticeship programme last November, and I’m already seeing the benefits of it in my work today. The apprenticeship has opened my eyes to identifying data, how I should validate and standardise it across lots of different work projects. In fact, I think I’ve become more regimented with my processes entirely. I’ve applied my new skills to several projects and can see that they are becoming standard practice within the business. The data skills particularly are enabling me to think differently about the way I approach tasks. Today my colleagues now know that I’m the go-to data contact if anyone has any concerns or questions relating to data in the office, which is a great feeling.

As Travis Perkins continues to innovate and move forward, they have begun to think of ways they can automate certain tasks, and other process improvements to benefit daily operations. To support this development, I plan to link my process improvement, data skills and big data query skills more into the business too. Now that I know more, it’s exciting to see how these skills all work together to form the big picture.

Darren Gough, BPI Lead at Travis Perkins and Data Analysis Graduate at Avado

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