Completing an apprenticeship through Walsall College has opened many doors for Jack Ponsonby. When the 17-year-old finished his apprenticeship at Birmingham City Council last year, he applied for a promotion role at the council’s Children’s Services department. He was successful, making him the youngest apprentice at the council to be promoted to a senior role.
Jack’s story began when he applied for a 12-month ‘Support Assistant’ apprenticeship at the council, which was assessed by Walsall College.
“I was invited to a meeting with the college, which was followed by an interview with Birmingham City Council. Three weeks later, I was offered the job and attended an induction the following day, where I found out I’d be placed in Children’s Services Placement team”.
Prior to his apprenticeship, Jack debated as to whether he should enrol on a course at college. But he was keen to “get out into the big wide world and see what it was like” – a decision he has never regretted.
“It’s one of the best things I did. I enjoyed the course and working within the Professional Support Services team. We worked together to complete a wide range of administration tasks, such as processing invoices, finance work and taking referrals from social workers and police officers”.
Upon completing his course, Jack applied for a ‘Support Officer’ within the council, which has given him more challenges and responsibilities.
“My current role involves a lot of work you need to analyse. I have team meetings on a fortnightly basis to identify tasks that need to be actioned for the week ahead. That could be anything from invoicing, ringing residential homes, and speaking to social workers about placements for children in care.
“I received some invaluable support from the college. My assessor Ravendar would help me if I was stuck on units and he was very good at that.”
Jack now plans to enrol onto a degree course in Social Care next year, something he never dreamed of doing.
“University was something I never thought of until I got placed in Children’s Services through my apprenticeship with Walsall College. I plan to become a front line social worker for children, and a Social Care degree widens your options.”
Ravendar Bangar, NVQ Assessor at Walsall College, said: “I was delighted to learn Jack had been promoted soon after completing his Business Administration apprenticeship, with help of the skills and knowledge that he gained during the programme.
This is even more remarkable considering that Jack is the youngest apprentice that his employer has taken on. Jack’s attention to detail, enthusiasm, industriousness and proactive nature have paid dividends.”
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