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Build the Future:
National Apprenticeship Week 2022

This year, the theme for the National Apprenticeship Week is to 'Build the Future', which takes place between 7th - 13th February 2022.

In its 15th year, the week is a great opportunity to celebrate and discuss apprenticeships and their benefits on individuals, businesses, and local communities.

At Go Ape, we offer our existing employees the opportunity to enhance their skills and build their future through apprenticeship opportunities. We are proud to currently have a range of employees undertaking an apprenticeship alongside their role.

Bex Cain, an Executive in our People team, talks about why we value apprenticeships at Go Ape: "At Go Ape we believe in not only finding people jobs but also supporting them in their professional journey so that they can become two steps better. We're incredibly proud to have committed and adventurous tribe members who believe in helping people to live their lives more adventurously. It is remarkable that Dave and Pete both completed their management qualification, with distinctions, in our busiest year ever."

To celebrate #NationalApprenticeshipWeek, we thought we would speak to two of our current employees who have recently completed their apprenticeship, having continued with remote learning throughout lockdown, to find out more about them and how an apprenticeship has helped them within their role.

Dave Daborn

What made you decide to do an apprenticeship?  
I started at Go Ape as an Instructor many years ago and have worked my way up to Site Manager. Although I’ve picked up a lot along the way, I’d never done a formal management qualification, so when we were given the opportunity to complete a management apprenticeship I volunteered straight away. 

How was remote learning during lockdown? 
I started the apprenticeship in January 2020 and was planning on balancing my studies and work each week. In this (one) regard, lockdown was somewhat of a blessing. As we were all furloughed for three months, I was able to focus entirely on my studies, which also gave me something to focus on while stuck at home! 

How has the apprenticeship helped you in your current role? 
The topics I have learned over the last two years and discussing how I work with my tutor has helped me to reflect on how I manage my team and given me ideas on how to improve in the future.  

What have you learnt as an apprentice?  
The module on self-management has been particularly helpful. I used to keep everything in my head- meetings, to-do lists, plans and notes. Now I have learned various systems to keep track of what I need to do and remember, which means I get more done on time and fewer things get forgotten. 

 Do you have any advice for someone starting an apprenticeship? 
Be prepared and have a plan to study. Set aside one day a week for learning and don’t fall into the trap of putting it off if you’re having a busy week!  

Pete Shackell

What made you decide to do an apprenticeship?
I chose to do an apprenticeship because I wanted to update my knowledge and check my skills. Despite having a degree, I felt it was time I returned to learning and checked in with my knowledge base.

How was remote learning during lockdown?
Juggling helping my kids with their homeschooling, a partner working from home and learning myself was hard at times, but it was ok with a bit of time management.

How has the apprenticeship helped you in your current role?
This apprenticeship has allowed me to look at things differently and put new ideas into action. For example, it's taught me when to involve myself and step back and look at the bigger picture.

What have you learnt as an apprentice?
If I've learnt anything, it's that you're never too old to return to learning. You should always try to keep your skills up to date and grab at any opportunity that comes your way.

Do you have any advice for someone starting an apprenticeship?
Honestly, go for it! Set aside the time you need and make sure you put the hours in.

After the success of the last apprenticeship programmes, other Tribe members have elected to continue their professional development and take part in level 3 and level 5 learning qualifications. At least two Site Managers, two Activity Managers and members of our People team will participate in the learning and reflective development training Kickstart Scheme.

In June 2021, we launched our 2-year partnership with The Prince's Trust's an award-winning youth charity. When deciding on a national charity, we were dedicated to selecting an organisation that would support young people's mental health needs and provide post-pandemic aid.

Supported by the Prince's Trust, we created more than 100 Kickstart placements across all Go Ape areas, including Local Marketing Assistants roles, Maintenance Assistants, Customer Care Specialists, IT Support positions, and more.

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