Being an Apprentice at Test Valley Borough Council

Working at Test Valley Borough Council as an apprentice can develop your skills and kick-start your career.

We are part of the Hampshire Apprentice Partnership that consists of four councils in Hampshire who have developed an exciting new apprentice programme, providing an alternative learning journey to college or university.

As an apprentice, you will be part of a team, working alongside experienced colleagues learning on the job skills whilst also studying for a relevant NVQ such as Business Administration or Customer Services. Outside of the day job, you will work with other apprentices on small projects and take part in a monthly skills programme which includes topics like project management, communication and presentation skills. You’ll also have a mentor to support you in settling into the Council and your studies.

 

Amber Patel - "I joined Test Valley Borough Council in September 2016 as the HR and Corporate Policy apprentice within the Chief Executives service. The apprenticeship appealed to me because I like the thought of earning whilst you learn and it also gives you the experience of working within a working environment which future employers look for. My apprentice experience at the council has been very beneficial and I am very grateful for the opportunity. Working within the friendly HR team I have gained a lot of useful experience and knowledge which I hope will help me start a future career in HR.

Apprentices at Test Valley also get the chance to be a part of the Hampshire Apprentice Partnership Scheme which is a skills program for apprentices in local government. The HAP events are very valuable to your everyday life skills. We have taken part in many different skills sessions which have included budgeting, presentation skills, resilience, comminutions skills and first aid. The knowledge I have gained from the HAP scheme are life skills which will help me with any future job opportunities. We are also working on a project as part of the HAP scheme which is to promote apprenticeships within our organisation both internally and externally. This ongoing project has helped to boost my confidence as we have had to talk in front of schools and managers, but it has also given me more chances to improve on my general skills.

Overall this apprenticeship has been more useful and effective than I thought it would be as it has helped me develop personally and boosted my confidence in many different areas. Before my apprenticeship I didn’t know what I wanted to do in the future but now know I want a career in HR."

 

George Bloss- “Test Valley Borough Council’s apprenticeship scheme offers a great learning platform for young people who are looking to gain an excellent qualification as well as important work experience. I would highly recommend it as a place to do an apprenticeship course.”

 

Lauren Forder- “I love that everyday is different and I have learnt various skills within my role” “Being an apprentice means that you get the experience that employers want”. “I have enjoyed working as a part of a team, everyone in Test Valley Borough Council is friendly and helpful” 

 

Daniel Weeks"When I joined the Council in October 2014 I started in the Estates and Economic Development Service and I am now finishing my apprenticeship in the IT Service with a contract at the end. In Estates I was responsible for administering the room booking system which involved booking TVBC conference rooms and Council venues such as Andover Guildhall and Crosfield Hall in Romsey. I was also responsible for administering the Business Incentive Grant and Independent Retailer Grants for start-up businesses. When I moved to IT in April 2016 I began working on the Service Desk, logging calls and completing the first time fixes for both Test Valley and Winchester City Council users, as the IT department is a shared service."

"The reason I chose to do an apprenticeship is because I really liked the idea of learning while working because the two reinforce each other. I studied IT for two years at Andover College and really enjoyed myself, so for the chance to do an apprenticeship at TVBC with the College I had been studying at made perfect sense. When I saw the vacancy for the Council it was a no brainer and I applied straight away as it’s a big organisation and would be a great path for development. I would recommend Test Valley Borough Council as a place of work to anyone. The staff are incredibly helpful. From when I started to the present I have developed new skills and understandings and would like to continue to progress here for many years to come."

 

Vicky Quincey- "I work in the Revenues Department of Test Valley Borough Council as a Revenues Assistant. I correspond with employers, the DWP and Enforcement Agents regarding collection of debts through wages, benefits or Enforcement Agents.

Account management

  • I deal with post that has been returned ‘gone away’ by sending a trace report and on return forward to the appropriate officer to follow up
  • Address Changes – If the property name, street name or post code has changed I update these on our system
  • I process the land registry searches for the team and forward the reports to them
  • Land Registry searches

Pre court admin work

  • Supressing summons
  • Withdrawing reminders

Reports

  • Remove unpaid direct debits from the account
  • Update collection data on excel for management
  • Check Government site to obtain probate details

Additional work in the General office

  • Check weekly letters
  • Input data on excel for management of types of letters i.e.: benefits/earnings etc.
  • Do enveloping and sorting out post

I chose to do an apprenticeship because I thought it was a good way to gain experience in an office environment as well as getting a qualification. The apprenticeship route appealed to me because it is a good way to gain valuable experience in an office environment, make new friends and progress your future. It also opens up more channels when searching for jobs."