HMG Law LLP, Solicitors in Oxford and Bicester, were looking for a receptionist for their busy Bicester office. Jade Bowerman was looking for a job with a future.
Jade is now enjoying her Business Administration Apprenticeship with the firm, and it has been a win-win situation.
The chief executive of HMG Law, Gary Baker, said: “Throughout my career I have seen how beneficial it is to employ a young person with the potential to progress within the firm.
“The Apprenticeship programme was attractive because it provided us with potential recruits to interview, and offered us the chance to enhance our own training through the Certificate in Vocational Learning.”
Jade was keen to embark on a career with a future, but had not yet found the right job. Her boyfriend, himself an apprentice, recommended taking at look at the National Apprenticeships Service website. She registered, and saw the opportunity with HMG Law, with training provided by Oxfordshire Adult Learning. She applied, and has not looked back.
Jade said: “I was beginning to think I would never find what I wanted. I had started sixth form, but it wasn’t for me. Then I tried a couple of jobs which I didn’t find interesting, and which had no future. Earning and learning was really attractive.
“I really enjoy making conversation with the clients, and my confidence and skills – particularly keyboard skills and telephone manner – are getting stronger all the time.
“It is also great to be studying again, and it will be good to achieve a qualification as well as experience.”
Gary added: “Jade has brought freshness and enthusiasm to the job, and is expanding her skills very quickly, so we are delighted.
“We are particularly pleased that she has quickly understood and adopted the firm’s helpful and supportive approach to clients, which is vital on reception. Plus she has excellent interpersonal skills.
“She puts clients at their ease with her friendly, efficient manner.
“In addition, she fits in very well with other staff, learning from them, and providing them with additional support.”
Jade would like to progress with the firm, and this is something that the partners look for when they recruit. She said: “Working in a solicitors’ firm is so interesting. I feel motivated every day — I always get in early!
“I am working with very helpful, friendly people, so I’m learning from them, and can see how I can progress, like them, within the firm.”
HMG Law are finding that the Business Administration Certificate in Vocational Learning is enhancing their own training, particularly as it involves the compilation of evidence from daily tasks, ensuring that competence in key areas, such as communicating in a business environment, is attained.
Gary said: “Jade is enjoying working with her Oxfordshire Adult Learning trainer, Sonja Milovic. We were keen to work with Oxfordshire Adult Learning because their trainers visit their apprentices in the workplace rather than the apprentices having to be absent from the office, and Sonja involved us in planning the training.
“Oxfordshire Adult Learning has also taken care of the paperwork related to the government funding of the qualification. We are pleased to have been able to give a young person a start.”
Mike Bardsley, interim head of Oxfordshire Adult Learning, said: “The experience of HMG Law and Jade Bowerman mirrors our other Apprenticeships, whether they are based in an office, or in a different workplace such as a children’s nursery.
“A young person is given a first step on the career ladder, and the employer improves productivity and competitiveness, making a sound investment for the future.”