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The challenge

“I started my career in HR accidentally as I think quite a few people do. I used to be cabin crew for Emirates before moving into an internal recruitment role. This led me to a role with a recruitment agency in Dubai where I was responsible for luxury retail brands across the Middle East.

I returned to London in 2018 to work as a recruiter in the HR team at Harrods. I took advantage of an internal opportunity to become part of our business partner team as a junior business partner at the end of 2019 just before the pandemic hit. I discovered more about HR in that time than I would have learned in five years under normal circumstances!

The solution

The role as a junior business partner and the apprenticeship went hand in hand. I didn’t have a generalist background in HR and wanted to gain more knowledge and skills. The CIPD qualification was very important to me but of equal importance was being able to complete it as part of my apprenticeship.

It was so much more valuable for me personally learning and doing rather than studying off site. Applying what I learnt in real time was very beneficial.

Lorraine Bartlett was my adviser who I miss dearly. She is absolutely wonderful, and I honestly don’t think I would have got through my apprenticeship without her. Her enthusiasm, the positivity and the support she provided along with her own experience in HR was invaluable. She kept me on track and held me accountable which is important because it is hard to keep on top of studying in a very busy job.

The resources on the VLE are one of the contributing factors to achieving the marks that I did for my end point assessment project and professional discussion. I wish I still had access to that content because it is so rich and helpful. I genuinely miss not being able to use the prepared guides and read the different articles and resources.

The results

I definitely feel more well-rounded having completed the apprenticeship. I came into HR as a specialist in recruitment and now I have a really good theoretical knowledge across many different areas. From understanding everything from best practice to employment law and project management, the apprenticeship has given me more practical skills and knowledge that I’m applying every day in my role.

Harrods has focused on increasing the number of apprentices and the breadth of apprenticeships that we offer across the business. We have around 70 apprentices in everything from IT to HR and from Engineering to Retail Management. Speaking from my own experience, the apprenticeship has absolutely helped me to do my job. I am a better business partner as a result.

Looking to the future, I was promoted during my apprenticeship and am now in an established business partner role. While I love the generalist aspect of the work, ultimately I would like to do something more specialist focusing on organisational design and development or change management.

I would definitely recommend Reed Learning to others considering an HR apprenticeship. The content I was able to access on the VLE was incredible and Lorraine was wonderful. My overall experience has been very positive.”

For more information on HR, L&D or Accountancy apprenticeships with Reed Learning call our specialist advisers on 020 7932 2760.