It’s National Apprenticeship Week (5 – 11 February 2024) which is a week-long celebration that brings together businesses and apprentices across the country to shine a light on the positive impact that apprenticeships make to individuals and businesses.
"The support and kind words I received from my colleagues allowed me to strive further than I thought."
We had the privilege of sitting down with our fantastic apprentices - both past and present - to delve into their unique experiences and remarkable journeys at SAAF.
Read on to hear what they had to say!
Michal – Finance Apprentice
‘Since starting my Accounting Assistant apprenticeship just over a year ago, I feel I have developed greatly as an individual. This apprenticeship has provided me with many different opportunities and benefits.
I feel strongly about the apprenticeship route because you can earn while you learn, and my apprenticeship has made me much more confident in my abilities and working with others. At SAAF Education, everybody is treated the same regardless of their level of expertise or knowledge, and you are surrounded by joyful and caring people.
When I started my apprenticeship, I was worried that I might not be able to complete or do certain things, however, the support and kind words I received from my colleagues allowed me to strive further than I thought. I always felt as though my colleagues wanted me to succeed and if I needed more guidance or help with anything, I would be more than happy to ask, knowing that I wouldn’t be judged or under pressure.
As an apprentice, the initial expectations aren’t too high, as long as you are dedicated to learning new things and pushing yourself every day. Anyone can do it and from my personal experience, I can say it’s great!’
Sian – Payroll Administrator
‘My apprenticeship has allowed me to both train and work within the payroll sector. After I completed my apprenticeship training, I was offered a full-time job at SAAF as a Payroll Administrator.
During my training, I gained many skills useful to my job and personal development. I have improved my computer skills (including using software like Microsoft), my customer service skills both in person and via written communication as well as my work-based skills. Having a relevant job besides my training has strengthened my payroll skills as well as my knowledge. My confidence has also improved massively through my apprenticeship at SAAF.’
Laura – Payroll Team Leader
‘When I left school, I opted for an apprenticeship instead of attending university, driven by the desire to gain practical work experience. Joining SAAF proved to be a warm and accommodating experience, and I integrated into the team seamlessly.
The welcoming atmosphere and supportive colleagues put me at ease. Recognising that this was my first job, the workload was tailored to suit me, initially focusing on administrative tasks. Through these responsibilities, I discovered many skills, including effective time management and organisational abilities.
As time progressed, I took charge of my own live payrolls and after I’d completed my apprenticeship, I was promoted to the role of Payroll Administrator. Engaging with clients daily, I handled diverse tasks that reflected my organisational skills.
Fast forward three years, and I now hold the position of Payroll Team Leader. In this role, I manage the team's daily tasks and ensure timely completion of deadlines. I have no regrets about choosing the apprenticeship route with SAAF, as it has propelled me up the career ladder and equipped me with valuable skills for the future.’
Isma – Pensions Administrator
‘I chose an apprenticeship because I wanted to work and develop my skills at the same time. I have progressed further than I Imagined at SAAF and have gained many skills along the way such as good communication and problem solving.
After my apprenticeship, I was promoted to Payroll Administrator, which quickly led to me progressing to Pension Administrator. I’m now in a role which suits me well. SAAF is very supportive, and they encourage you to go into a role that is best suited to you.
Careers at SAAF
To find out more about careers at SAAF, visit our careers page.