Why I love being a property apprentice
I’ve just come to the end of the first few months of my two-year stint as an apprentice in Co-op Property. There are four property apprentices in total – two in construction, one in commercial, and I look after the property lifecycle.
After my A-Levels, I couldn’t decide whether to go to university or get a job. I still wanted to gain a qualification but wanted to dive into working life too. My apprenticeship at Co-op has given me the opportunity to do both.
I spend most of my time working and I’m also studying towards a qualification in project management. This’ll mean I’ll be ready to apply for an Assistant Project Manager role once my apprenticeship is complete.
Jumping into the deep end
I love what I’m doing as I’m involved with everything that happens to our properties – from understanding what makes a great new store location, to getting to grips with how our facilities management colleagues look after our buildings.
I’ve been given a lot of responsibility straight away, which is fantastic. So far, I’ve helped find locations for new Co-op stores, and learned all about the processes and systems that make sure our new shops open on time. I’ve spent a week working in store, chaired meetings and presented to senior colleagues. I’m being pushed outside of my comfort zone, and this has helped me to learn so much in a short space of time.
I have a dedicated line manager in each placement, so it’s good to have someone to go to when I have questions or want to share ideas. I feel very supported.
A different way of doing things
The other property apprentices and I are just four of around 1,400 apprentices across the wider Co-op.
Apprenticeships are part of our community strategy, offering people like me a different way of finding a career here, as well as giving existing colleagues the chance to develop.
Everyone should have the chance to learn new things, no matter what stage of their career they’re at. Apprenticeships give you the chance to study while getting on-the-job experience. I’m so glad I applied, it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.