Joanne has worked at Freedom Group for 12 years and is currently in the role of Group Learning & Development Manager. This involves managing the processes that support training, learning and development across the business. In addition to Joanne’s full-time role, she is undertaking a four year Chartered Managers Degree Apprenticeship which she started in October 2017.
Why did you choose an apprenticeship?
I have been in a management role for many years, but I have no formal qualifications. When the apprenticeship levy was introduced it was the perfect opportunity for me to test my knowledge and learn new skills.
How important is this apprenticeship to you?
I left school at 16 and, at the time, Universities were really only for those who were exceptionally intelligent or wealthy, which I was neither of so it wasn’t really an option for me. With no formal qualifications or a degree, I have had to work my way up through the ranks, relying on my experience rather than qualifications for promotions. This was difficult early in my career when I was up against graduates who may have had the qualifications but not the experience.
I am fortunate to work in an organisation that really invests in its people and was delighted when Freedom put me forward to undertake a Chartered Managers Degree Apprenticeship.
Is the apprenticeship meeting your expectations?
Absolutely! Although it has meant a lot of extra work as I work full-time, I am relishing the opportunity to study at degree level and I have learnt a number of new concepts and theories. Our learning group is very diverse in age, experience and field which helps promote good discussion and new ideas.
Would you encourage others to follow in your footsteps?
Yes, if you are given the opportunity then take it, but be prepared to put the work in! I have only got to where I am today by hard work, determination and a sheer desire to succeed.
What do you see yourself doing in the future?
I would like to progress within Freedom to a Senior Management role.