Business Apprenticeship Completed

The newest member of our team here at Concept4, Jennifer Brown has recently completed her Business Administration apprenticeship. Working with Nelson & Colne College she has achieved this success during the strangest and most challenging of years, a fact that only adds to her achievement. I caught up with Jennifer recently to discuss her apprenticeship, her initial entry into the world of work and her role with us here at Concept4. Jennifer started with us in late 2019 so was able to briefly experience our normal working environment before COVID disruption affected us all. This proved to be a key few months as it meant she had already received important training and had properly settled in prior to us switching to a homeworking approach.


Whilst she did initially attend college the majority of her study was then done via off site learning, working closely with her college tutor and using the Smart Assessor E-Learning platform. Though this approach worked well Jennifer did miss out on connecting personally with similar students her own age working through the same projects. Covering module subjects like health and safety and customer service did however help her better understand the business environment she was now a part of. When asked how she had found working with us so far at Concept4 her response seemed genuinely positive. She had felt useful being able to develop skills on our management information system, for example being able to do things like issuing purchase orders to suppliers. She had also enjoyed working with the team in an office environment. I loved that she referred to the positive experience of working with “older people.” Having just turned fifty I will happily accept that description!


Inevitably our conversation turned to the impact of COVID that had disrupted both her work and studies. Strangely Jennifer has spent most of her working life at home! I was pleased that she had felt supported through this period, particularly by Luke, though in reality learning from home rather than at the office or at college was much tougher. I was impressed that despite this she had retained her positivity throughout this period which she rightly described as “weird”. In terms of her own job role Jennifer reflected on what she had learnt to date. Given we are a relatively small team she has enjoyed learning how the business works and then gradually being able to grow her own contribution to it. Jennifer assists Luke in the client services team and has some involvement with projects from start to finish. For example she might take the initial call from a new customer or send out a quotation. Much later in the process she might issue the final invoice. Her team link together the different parts of the business and help keep customers updated on their projects. Therefore, understanding how the business works and what each member of the Concept4 team contributes has been an important part of her journey so far. Luke is certainly happy with the progress Jennifer has made, especially in the circumstances. She is now keen to get more involved as we hopefully head towards a more normal working environment.

Thinking of the future Jennifer is now considering further training options with Nelson & Colne College starting in September. She could continue with more business administration NVQ work or consider other options to enhance her training and skills, hopefully with some other student interaction. Whatever she does she very much hopes she will be soon back at the office surrounded by the rest of her “older” Concept4 colleagues. Well done Jennifer.