Office team prove it’s ‘never too late’ to learn new skills

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A GROUP of customer service workers have gone back to the classroom to enhance their skill-set and gain formal qualifications they never had the chance to get.

In some cases, staff at Invensys Eurotherm, in Faraday Close, Worthing, have been working at the firm for more than 30 years, but they leapt at the opportunity to do an apprenticeship when the chance came.

Claire Moore, 41, Amanda Henry, 48, Sharon Ambridge, 48, Alison Trapp, 43, and Dominique Mardle, 24, have been studying for a customer services NVQ level-two apprenticeship since May.

Despite holding full-time jobs in the sector, they all felt the course was an opportunity to refresh and build on their existing skill-set.

Claire said: “We thought we might be too old to do it but it proves you’re never too old to learn.

“For us, it’s a chance to gain formal qualifications we don’t currently have.”

The group were asked if they would be interested after Northbrook College approached the business.

In addition to the customer services apprentices, several others are taking part in other courses elsewhere in the company.

Amanda said: “I’ve been here for 32 years and for me, it’s been a refresher and a chance to improve.”

Sharon added: “It makes you more aware of the skill-sets you have and how to improve on it.”

To introduce them to the course, the apprentices had six sessions in the classroom at Northbrook, covering various aspects of customer services.

They now have monthly assessments, which range from written exams, to case studies .

And although juggling a full-time job, family life and studying has been challenging at times, the group recommend giving it a go.

Alison said: “We would all definitely recommend it. It took a while to get back into studying, but it’s very rewarding.

“We are also going through the process together, which is helpful.

“There is a lot of support available, too.”

Once the group finish, they may continue in education, and could embark on a higher-level apprenticeship.

Sharon said: “It is investment in us as employees.

“The company is encouraging our development and pushing us to the next level.

“Once we have qualifications, we can look towards working our way up.”

For more information about apprenticeships at Northbrook College, contact apprenticeship manager Brenda Cook on 01903 273167, or email b.cook@nbcol.ac.uk

Alternatively, visit www.northbrook.ac.uk