Our Administration Assistant Natasha Stacey has started her Modern Apprenticeship and in the second of her blog posts, she tells us about how she has found it so far.
I have now been taking part in my SVQ Level 2 Business Admin class for two months and I am loving it!
My Induction took place in February and at this we received information about how the SVQ course is assessed, we were shown the types of evidence we can submit and the online system ‘Proof Positive’ that we would be using to upload, track and be assessed through.
I expected that my class time (two hours a week) would feel like I was back in secondary school and be death by PowerPoint but it is completely different. This time is allocated for us to work on our portfolio in a relaxed atmosphere and is the perfect time to talk to our lecturer and assessor about our units and ask any questions we may have.
In the SVQ Level 2 Business Admin we have eight units of work to complete. In our induction we were given a sheet with all of the possible units we could use (there were 92 choices!) To help me choose the best units that I could write about easily, I used the job description and person specification for my role and had conversations with my lecturer, assessor and line manager.
Each unit has its own Performance Indicators and Knowledge and Understanding points. To obtain these points I need to write about tasks I do or be observed doing the tasks. This sounds quite difficult, but when you’re writing about a task, you can end up claiming for points in more than one unit really easily! I really enjoy having these points to work towards in units; it’s so easy to track your learning and know what you are doing well. I have found that I have a gained a lot of confidence in my job role and it’s a great feeling when you know you are doing well in your job.
So far I have mainly written reflective pieces on my work where I talk about ‘how’ and ‘why’ I do tasks with a range of text, screenshots and pictures. I sometimes find the ‘why’ part quite hard as it seems too obvious to write certain things but I’m definitely getting better at it already and by the end of the year I will be a pro. I have submitted online to my assessor 11 times so far and I am at 31% of my final sign off of the course (the current progress goal is 17%).
In my role as DYW admin assistant I do a range of tasks. I assist in the organisation of events and meetings, minute the DYW Orkney Regional Group Board meetings, produce and update documents using Microsoft Word, Excel and Publisher and perform general administrative tasks.
When choosing my units, I tried to find those with performance points that I felt I would be confident in obtaining. For example, there was a unit called ‘Design and Produce Documents in a Business Environment’, almost every day I work with spreadsheets, word documents and emails so I knew I would easily manage to write about the process of these and obtain performance points. I have managed to get almost all of these points for this unit already because I made several information spreadsheets and posters/leaflets and information books for events. It was quite easy for me to do this unit as I took classes in secondary school where you needed to understand how to show step by step how you made things so I transferred the skills I had learned from that to help me in my writing.
The first two months of my course has been really interesting, merging my college course with work, learning how to evidence the work I do and writing reflective reports to gain points on my units.
Working in this way suits my ‘learn by doing’ learning style and I have already seen my confidence in general improve due to this. I am also finding it really helpful having the time in class once a week to focus on units without any distractions and being able to talk to my assessor to get advice on how to evidence my units. I hope that in the coming months I improve the evidence I submit and keep expanding my knowledge of the key skills for my administration role.
I am the Administration Assistant for DYW Orkney and I am a Modern Apprentice. I am currently completing my SVQ Level 2 in Business and Administration.