To kick-start Celebration Friday, we want to spotlight individuals who have used an apprenticeship to upskill and grow within their careers.

Rachel Edwards has been a loyal employee of the Co-operative Bank for 25 years, having started after leaving school with her GCSEs. She was interested in customer service roles, so the bank seemed the perfect place to start.

‘’I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the bank when I started. It was so different to school, and everything was so varied, with plenty of things to do. 

‘’Across the years, I have worked in many teams including training, customer services, mentoring, and coaching.’’

Rachel began finding herself covering for team leaders and discovered she enjoyed management. After moving to the business landing team 4 years ago, she had plenty more opportunities to lead a team. 

‘’After deciding I wanted to do something different, I managed a lot more often, covering projects, meetings, and absences. I then became the step-up team leader on customer services.’’

Rachel’s manager had previously completed the Level 3 Team Leader Apprenticeship herself, and encouraged her to enrol. After seeing it come up on the internal system, Rachel decided she wanted to upskill and grow into a manager. 

After studying for 18 months, Rachel has now completed her apprenticeship and is happy with the progress she has made.

‘’The apprenticeship has been amazing. The assignments were hard initially since I had been out of school for over 20 years. However, with The Co-op and Workpays support, I successfully completed it.

‘’The goal was to complete the apprenticeship and then to cover my manager’s maternity leave, as the timing married up perfectly. I now have time to think about where I want to go next on my career journey at The Co-operative Bank.’’

‘’The apprenticeship has helped me learn a lot about myself, opened my eyes to all the opportunities available, and become more confident.’’

Discover how an apprenticeship could enhance your career




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