Being a mature student has its advantages. Knowing that learning needs to be translated into real-life work experience, I applied for a summer internship with Rubitek that was advertised by my university. When I read the internship’s requirements I believed that I would be a suitable candidate and add value to the project, but at the same time I would also learn new skills. Having the opportunity of being mentored by the CEO, alongside gaining invaluable industry experience, was a no brainer at deciding what I wanted to do during the summer. As you can imagine, I was thrilled to get the job!
Rubitek is a technology business that has developed a cloud-based apprentice management platform that minimises the risk and consequences of apprentice fail rates. It is the only platform that champions the significant role employers play in apprentice completion. Through the platform, employers and training providers can work collaboratively to provide better support to apprentices, monitor their engagement and identify timely interventions to prevent disengagement. Kerry Linley, the founder and CEO, formed Rubitek in April 2018 after becoming disillusioned at the distinct lack of technology solutions available to support employers and apprentices. Her vision was to put learners at the heart of their own learning journey and improve the national average completion rate of 65%. Rubitek’s end-to-end apprentice, employer and provider e-portfolio engages all the relevant stakeholders who deliver training and support so that apprentices are more likely to complete their learning journey and achieve qualification. The all-in-one software includes an intuitive learner app, an employer dashboard, and a suite of tools for providers including an easy to use ILR reporting functionality that simplifies much of the administrative burden associated with apprenticeship delivery.
Just learning about the software, why it had been developed and how it helps to improve qualification achievement rates has been interesting and enjoyable. My internship has taken me on a new learning journey. Meeting the CEO virtually and working 100% remotely was a unique experience in itself for both of us. I am a big advocate of trying new ways of learning. Having experimented with both face-to-face and online, I have discovered that a blended learning approach has worked really well for me.
I’ve heard people say “every day is a school day” and this is true. I am always learning and hope this continues, no matter how old I get, or how much experience I have. I have loved working directly with the business founder – how often do you actually get this chance? I was involved in putting together a business strategy based on competitor analysis including pricing and product benefits and features, I wrote an SEO strategy for the business website and produced valuable market research. I was also able put in practice many skills such as effective verbal and written communication, listening, assessing and analyzing information, problem solving, creative thinking and collaboration to name a few.
Learning about apprenticeships came as a bonus. Before I started my internship I did not know much about them. I decided to go back to university after many years at work. When I was young, I was not sure what I wanted to do. I think young people can be indecisive and it is therefore crucial that they understand what options are available to them. Not everyone is studious or has the financial means to go to university. With the right information, guidance and support, young people can make informed choices about their future.
Throughout my time with Rubitek, I have not only discovered the opportunities and benefits that apprenticeships offer to young people and businesses but also learnt that you can combine university studies with a work placement by choosing a degree apprenticeship. Whatever type of apprenticeship young people might be considering, apprenticeships make sense on so many levels. Mike Goodall, development manager at the Federation of Small Businesses, says that now might just be the perfect time to think about apprenticeships: “After all, they benefit both the individual apprentice and their employer, plus there is national and local Government funding available to support employers who hire an apprentice.”
Recession and tough times ahead for businesses have highlighted the need to foster and grow home-grown talent. Choosing to finance your studies is a big decision. Studying for a degree will cost you £9,000 per year in tuition fees, plus additional living expenses. It is estimated that an undergraduate could leave university with up to £50,000 worth of debt. If you are under 25 the government and your employer fund your training so you do not have to pay a penny – and you earn a wage at the same time. Apprenticeships are valued for their practical nature and real-life work experience opportunities. So, should you go to university or do an apprenticeship? It is a tough choice to make and one option is not necessarily better than the other. My advice is to do some research and choose the best option for you. The apprenticeship route might not be the right choice for everyone, but it deserves to be considered as one of the options available alongside higher education or going to university.
I have enjoyed my 12-week internship with Rubitek. I gained real-life work experience in a fast-paced environment but more importantly, I got to play a part in a business with a mission to support apprentices on their learning journey and that is a cause that should be put at the forefront of every business strategy.
For more information about Rubitek and apprenticeships, contact Rubitek today:
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