Jodie is gaining valuable skills and experience during her Business Admin apprenticeship at careers management and personal development organisation Inspira.

Jodie, 18, decided to take on an apprenticeship after studying towards her A levels for a year. As she was considering her career options, she turned to Inspira for guidance – and ended up working for the company.

“I did a year of sixth form but I felt I wasn’t getting enough experience, so I started to look for an apprenticeship,” she said. “I went to Inspira for advice and successfully applied for an apprenticeship with a local firm. Unfortunately, the business suffered a downturn a year later, so I went back to Inspira to ask for help again.

“It was perfect timing because they were looking for an apprentice. They asked me to submit my CV if I was interested so that’s how I came to get my apprenticeship at Inspira.

“I’ve now started my Level 3 NVQ in Business Admin after completing my Level 2, and should have finished that by October.

“My college tutor comes to visit me every two to three weeks to review the coursework I’ve done so I don’t miss out on any experience at work. Inspira are really good at letting me get on with my college work and I do a lot of it at home as well.

“I consider myself to be quite academic, but I get nervous during exams and prefer doing coursework, so an apprenticeship was the right option for me.

“With my apprenticeship, I’m learning lots of skills and I’m not tied to one subject or sector. If I want to develop and move up the ladder I can.

“I’ve learnt so much about apprenticeships at Inspira and it’s made me like where I live even more.”

Working at Inspira has made Jodie more aware of the career opportunities in Cumbria and encouraged her to think about her future plans.

“Working at Inspira has shown me what a range of opportunities there are in Cumbria,” she said. “I didn’t know about all the different employers who offer jobs and training.

“When I first got my Business Admin apprenticeship, a few friends thought I’d just be sat in an office - but now they’ve realised that I’m getting so much more experience than they’re getting at university.

“I have lots of admin duties and work closely on one of our contracts, Wheels 2 Work, a moped scheme for people who struggle getting to work, or education. My responsibilities are things such as handling petty cash and running my own spreadsheets.

“I’m also an ambassador for the National Citizen Service programme, so I go out and give assemblies about it in schools which has boosted my confidence so much.

At Inspira we’ve got a HR department and a Finance department, so I hope in the future I can begin to specialise in something.

“Once I’ve got my Level 3, I’ll have lots of experience and an apprenticeship behind me. With Business Admin, there are lots of different routes you can take.

“Working at Inspira has me realise that there are lots of different things I could go into after my apprenticeship.”

Jodie is glad that she decided to stay in Cumbria and develop a career close to friends and family.

“I definitely wouldn’t move away as I’d miss everyone too much,” she said.

“I love living in Cumbria but I enjoy going on city breaks at the weekends. You appreciate going away to a city more because it’s not on your doorstep. I always look forward to going, but I look forward to coming home as well.

“Newcastle is only an hour and a half drive away. My friends and I save up and make a weekend of it to give us something to look forward to. Doing an apprenticeship enables me to do this.

“This summer, I’d like to take up fell walking. One of my colleagues goes fell walking every Sunday and the photos she takes are beautiful.

“I’d like to have passed my driving test and be a large way through my apprenticeship by the summer. When I submitted all my Level 2 coursework it was the best feeling ever.”