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Helping local people find a career

PICTURED: Tarsha Wright

LAMBETH IS one of London’s most vibrant and diverse boroughs with a commitment to tackling inequality and working towards sustainable growth for residents. Apprenticeships offer us an opportunity to source exciting new talent from our local communities, grow potential from within, address skills shortages and develop future leaders. Our commitment to apprenticeships is an extension of our passion and belief in lifelong learning and a ceaseless dedication to developing our staff to be the best. We can offer a wide range of opportunities in Digital, ICT, Finance, Legal, Project Management, Social Work and Business Administration with new programmes constantly being developed.

How did you find out about your current apprenticeship with Lambeth Council?
I found out about the apprenticeship through my work adviser CJ (Claire James) who is an Interim Brokerage Consultant for The London Borough of Lambeth.

At the time she was based at the Brixton Library where I would meet her for help with my CV and give me advice in getting back into work.

One day while working as a voluntary advertising assistant I received an email from CJ informing me that there would be a job fair at the Brixton Town Hall that would be advertising jobs as well as apprenticeship opportunities.

What were you doing before you started it?
Before I became an Apprentice Registration Officer, I was doing some voluntary work two to three times a week at the High Trees Community Development Trust on Tulse Hill.

I had just completed an ICT Functional Skills Level 1 course at the same place. As a fulltime mum-of-three, I had not worked in a while and now felt it was time for me to get on with my career, so I went on the ICT course that CJ had informed me about at one of our meetings. My ICT tutor Jackie Stewart advised me that there was a voluntary role being offered and that I should go for it.

I worked alongside Wayne James who at the time did advertising and set up courses that were going to take place at the High Trees Community Development Trust.

Were your friends and family supportive when you decided to start the apprenticeship?
My family were supportive of me when I told them that I was going to start a Business Administration apprenticeship at Lambeth Council.

They were excited for me and said that this was a good opportunity for me to learn something new and gain a qualification at the end. My husband, a painter and decorator, gave up his work to become a full-time stay-at-home dad to look after the children, get them ready and take them to school.

How long does your apprenticeship last for?
And do you get a qualification or a job at the end of it? My apprenticeship is a 14-month course and this March I’ll have been on it for a year. I can complete the course by finishing all the work necessary before the 14 months ends. If I complete my course, I will receive a qualification in business administration that will boost the look of my CV when I apply for a job in the future.

What sparked your interest in this line of work? I enjoyed history at school so that might be what sparked my interest in registering births and deaths. It’s also the fact that I am participating in an important part of someone's life by registering a birth, death or a marriage.

The role of a registrar is at times a challenging job - you have to take an accurate account of an event at the time it takes place. Registrations are a part of an individual's history and is something I love being a part of.

What does your role involve?
My role as an Apprentice Registrar is to register all the births deaths and marriages that take place in the London Borough of Lambeth. Births need to be registered within 42 days (of a child being born). People who want to get married have to give notice of marriage in the borough that they live in.

How has it developed your skills and knowledge in your chosen field?
By being an Apprentice Registrar, my computer skills and my customer service skills have increased, and I feel more able and confident to speak and deal with customer queries or issues that they may have. My administrative skills are now of a professional standard i.e. letter writing, e-mails, telephone calls to customers. I have also learned how official documentation should be completed. How do hope your apprenticeship will support your future career aspirations? I hope that my apprenticeship will allow me to continue my professional development in the registry department.

Now that I have gained experience in this role, it is something I would love to continue learning and progressing in. Here at Lambeth Council the Registrar Team is such a great team to work with. It is one of the busiest in London. I think we work well together to complete the amount of registrations that we receive in the borough. Lambeth Council on a whole has so many fantastic opportunities, so if I do not continue my career in the registration field, I’m sure there will be another career I could pursue.

Some young people are not always sure if an apprenticeship is the right choice for them. What would you say based on your experience?
Based on my experience here at Lambeth I would say to anyone that you don’t have to be young to do an apprenticeship.

I believe that if you fancy a change in your career enrolling on an apprenticeship course will be a great opportunity for you to learn new skills, gain a qualification and get paid while you are doing it.

If you're applying for an apprenticeship at a council it’s likely they will have a variety of different jobs.

Lambeth will be recruiting a new tranche of apprentices for a Sept/Oct intake. If you would like to be part of our vision for the future of Lambeth please check our main job pages and search for apprenticeship vacancies (there are no vacancies at the moment but will be in the run up to Sept/Oct our next recruitment drive). if you require employability support of the kind that Tarsha benefitted from please email: opportunitylambeth@ lambeth.gov.uk for more information.

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