Apprenticeships: Expanding entry routes into the National Trust
As the National Trust launches its first new apprenticeship roles in 2021, we caught up with our Apprenticeship Manager, Caroline Noon, to find out a bit more about her role and the fantastic opportunities coming up in the world of Apprenticeships.
What impact has the coronavirus had on your role and apprenticeships at the Trust?
I have been working from home since March 2021 supporting our existing apprentices as needed and that has been a big change to my role, as previously I would be out and about visiting the apprentices, their line managers and mentors and checking in with them on their progress. The majority of our apprentices were furloughed, but many of them were able to continue their studies remotely. Some were even able to successfully complete their apprenticeships and I helped them to achieve this – this involved ensuring they had the necessary equipment, support or facilities to be successful. For the apprentices that remained working I kept in touch regularly with both them and their line managers – I have spent a large amount of my time doing video calling and I hope my technical skills have greatly improved.
What does 2021 look like in your area?
Apprenticeships feels optimistic for me at the current time. We are able to launch our first roles for a year and we have a number of other areas in the pipeline for later in the year. We are looking at how our recruitment will have to change as previously this was all face to face and so offers exciting alternatives for our selection process. It is great to be able to create these exciting new opportunities and I look forward to welcoming a new group of apprentices into the Trust in 2021.
Why are apprenticeships important to you?
I am lucky enough to be involved in shaping not only the careers of our apprentices but also the direction of the Trust through the new routes the organisation is able to develop and offer. With the ever changing landscape of apprenticeships, I believe there are real opportunities to keep expanding our entry routes into the Trust and this gives our organisation another tool to help us recover following the pandemic, whilst looking after our special places for ever, for everyone. When I was younger there were not as many opportunities to develop your skills in as many areas as there are now and apprenticeships offer exciting new options, as well as a great cost-effective alternative to the more traditional university development route.
How long have you worked for The National Trust?
I started working for the Trust in January 2018, having worked in Learning and Development for almost 20 years before that, with a growing interest in apprenticeships for the last 5 years.
What inspires you to come to work every day?
I enjoy exploring development opportunities in both traditional and new areas the Trust hadn’t previously considered or been able to offer as well as developing and expanding the routes we already have. It’s an exciting time to be involved in apprenticeships and I love that no two days are the same. Every day is interesting and I am learning about the impact and opportunities that are available. I love my job and am lucky enough to get paid to do something I not only truly enjoy, but also believe passionately in.
How does a typical day in the life of your role look?
There is no typical day, but then I am sure a lot of people say that! I am looking forward to getting out and about again to the amazing places we look after and talk about a subject that I am passionate about.