Holly Powell, 21, completed her Apprenticeship at Aster Group five years ago, since completing her course she has gone from strength to strength and taken on more responsibility within the company.

Devizes based Aster Group; landlord and developer of new homes. Aster Group build homes for open market sale and shared ownership, and reinvest their profits into developing the business, its people and local communities.

Did you always plan to take the apprenticeship route?

No I didn’t, I left School with my GCSE’s and knew that I wanted to start earning, a School setting wasn’t for me so after speaking to my cousin who also works here I knew Aster would be a good place to work. I didn’t know much about apprenticeships, School didn’t talk about them at all, so I did my own research and found this role.

What did you like about your apprenticeship at Aster and can you tell us how you progressed?

An apprenticeship at Aster means you are able to move around the departments, I was doing a business administration apprenticeship within People Services so that meant I worked within HR administration, Payroll and Learning and Development. I was given the chance to work out which one I preferred by changing sections every 3 months. It helped me to understand how processes flow.

After working in HR for a short while when I had completed the course I moved into Research and Innovation I work on colleague and customer surveys for example and collect and analyse data. I have also been able to get involved in other projects such as setting up work placements for tenants and/or School/College leavers. I find this very rewarding, although we are in the beginning of this we have had successes such as two participants entering an apprenticeship and one man from Andover who was previously out of work for 5 years is now on an 8 week work placement. In the future I wish to continue doing more of this work and getting involved in the community.

What is your advice to others looking at apprenticeships?

If you are unsure of what you want to do try a generalist apprenticeship in a large company for example Business Administration. This will give you basic skills you can use in all roles and at bigger companies like Aster you can move around and try different departments until you find your niche. You will be earning a wage, gaining people skills which you don’t pick up at College or University and you are not restricted.

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