Alicia Derby - S&G Response

I find that the skills I learnt during my apprenticeship are being utilised on a daily basis in my role. I also feel much more confident when handling new situations and I'm not afraid to ask questions if I'm unsure of something.

Alicia Derby | Accounts Apprentice at S&G Response

S&G Response – a company specialising in providing accident claims management solutions – has recently started offering apprenticeships to budding school leavers at its Wilmslow-based offices. Alicia Derby is one of seven apprentices that have been enrolled on to the scheme and, after successfully completing her Level 2 Apprenticeship in Business and Administration, she has now progressed to an AAT Accountancy Apprenticeship with the company.

Alicia Derby is one of seven apprentices that have been enrolled on to the scheme and, after successfully completing her Level 2 Apprenticeship in Business and Administration, she has now progressed to an AAT Accountancy Apprenticeship with the company. Here’s her story so far:

Why did you choose the apprenticeship route?

After spending a year at my local college, I realised that being in full-time education wasn’t for me. I was still keen to learn and develop myself, but I wanted to gain real-life work experience and learn on the job. An apprenticeship allowed me to learn key skills within an area I was interested in, whilst being in a productive working environment outside of the classroom.

How did you find out about the role?

I arranged a meeting with Damar Training to discuss potential opportunities, and the apprenticeship at S&G Response really appealed to me. The role looked challenging and interesting, so I decided to apply.

Which qualification are you doing and how have you progressed in your role so far?

I have just completed a Level 2 Apprenticeship in Business Administration and I’ve now progressed to an AAT Accountancy Apprenticeship. During my time on the business administration course, I was working within the recoveries department, which gave me a great insight into how the department was managed. Since progressing to accountancy apprenticeship, I’ve now moved into the accounts department. I’m really enjoying gaining valuable experience within different teams across the company, whilst still progressing with my qualifications.

What are your future plans and how do you feel the training may support your development?

Within my role, I’m constantly learning new skills and developing my knowledge of the company and its procedures. I’m keen to continue progressing within my career at S&G Response and hope to progress all the way to a higher apprenticeship in accountancy and become a qualified accountancy technician. I’d like to stay at S&G Response as the support I receive both at work and from Damar is really beneficial.

What advice would you give to other school or college leavers thinking about doing an apprenticeship?

I would advise school or college leavers to enrol on an apprenticeship if they know what type of industry they’d like to have a career in. An apprenticeship gives you the opportunity to focus and learn about the specific area of work you’d like to go into and then progress into it directly. It’s also a great way of earning money whilst gaining industry-recognised qualifications.

S&G Response has always been supportive of training and developing its staff and the business has benefitted from taking on apprentices. This commitment to its staff has seen the company be awarded Investors in People Gold, as well the Claims Management Company Team of the Year award at the Claims Innovation Awards 2015, amongst others.

Operations team leader, Joe Boyle, said: “Alicia has been a great addition to our team and has worked hard to achieve such great results. Her confidence and knowledge of the industry has grown since joining us and we’re looking forward to supporting her through the next stages of her career with us.

“Apprenticeships are a fantastic opportunity to learn the foundations of a working environment from a young age whilst earning money. It allows you to learn new skills and develop and mature as a person, whilst getting on the ladder to progress a full-time career, with full support and training provided throughout.”

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