Spotlight on Talent – Reena Farmah
Studied: Level 3 Payroll Administrator Apprenticeship Standard
With a Certificate in Human Resource Practice and a Level 5 Diploma in Human Resource Management under her belt, Reena Farmah hadn’t planned to begin studying again. Especially as she was now working full-time as a HR and Governance Officer with St Chads, Academies Trust in Lichfield.
But when the Trust asked her to undertake the payroll apprenticeship to support with their new payroll system, Reena agreed and decided it was only fair that she gain expertise in this area too. So, from December 2020 to July 2022, she studied the Payroll Apprenticeship Standard at Walsall College while continuing to work.
The Distinction grade she achieved is particularly noteworthy as she was one of the first apprentices at the college to complete the new standard. The qualification was also gained during Covid so all lessons were online and access to study resources was limited.
“Balancing work life and personal life with studying is never easy and this was definitely the case with this Apprenticeship Standard,” said Reena.
“That said, the other apprentices and I, along with our vocational coach, Debbie all created a warm ethos online to match what we would have created on campus.
“We shared resources, kept in touch outside of our lessons and shared information and study materials. This made all the difference when it came to completing what is a highly specialised qualification that involves completing work at the highest level.”
The excellent grades awarded to Reena and her fellow apprentices was recognised by the Institute for Bookkeeping in the Provider of the Year category of the LUCA Awards.
“I’m so happy the college was in the running for this award,” Reena added.
“Work-based learning has its challenges but these are outweighed by the benefits which include a wider choice of career progression opportunities, professional recognition and a huge sense of accomplishment when you have gained your qualification.
“It’s so rewarding and impacts on your confidence and personal growth too”.
Now a democratic services officer with Walsall Council, Reena is keen to encourage others to dedicate themselves to their learning and improvement.
“Adult often experience doubts about coming back into learning so it’s important not to let these stop you from wanting to achieve, whether it’s for personal or professional reasons,” said Reena. “It might seem like an impossible journey but once you’ve taken that first step, you’ll soon be on your way.
“Hard work really does pay off.”