A day in the life of an apprentice at Ashtons Legal

HR Assistant, Katie Canham, gives an insight into being an apprentice at Ashtons and the varied responsibilities of the HR team.

About Me & My Role

I work in the HR team as an HR Assistant and assist the team with a range of things, including payroll, disciplinaries and grievances, employee relations, performance management, maternity/paternity, HR system management, managing employee onboarding and exit, recruitment, and learning and development.

I left school in 2018 and joined Ashtons in the Admin & Facilities as a Junior Admin Assistant after deciding that University wasn’t for me as I felt that hands-on experience was the best way for me to learn. I gained valuable skills such as document management, communication, organisation, attention to detail and teamwork during this time. After working in this role for a couple of years, my confidence grew, and I realised what I was interested in – people.

An HR Administrator vacancy arose within Ashtons and I jumped at the chance. I wanted to stay within an organisation that had already helped me to grow in so many ways. I was successful and began working in the HR team in October 2020. I began my apprenticeship in September 2021 and am now almost finished. Once my apprenticeship is complete, I will have a CIPD Level 5 Associate Diploma in People Management.

A Day in the Life

All apprentices (no matter what level) have to ensure they are carrying out 20% of their working hours as on-the-job learning. This is to ensure apprentices’ learning is embedded into their work. You must be organised to ensure you balance your work with your study. For me, this is equivalent to a day-per-week study. As I am near the end of my apprenticeship, I am now used to managing my time in order to meet these requirements.

I tend to split my study day between two afternoons. My morning will be full of tasks such as dealing with general enquiries, possibly a team meeting, updating the HR system, interview organising, drafting employment contracts and carrying out pre-employment checks. After lunch, my study afternoon will be spent shadowing someone in the HR team, learning the study material, working on an assignment or reflecting on my learning. Being able to carry out some of my study at work has meant I have learnt the theory and knowledge from my course, while being able to practically apply this in my day-to-day role.

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