Charlotte Jones – The power of apprenticeships

Skilled administrators play a key part in the success of most organisations and, for thousands of Damar apprentices over the years, completing a Level 3 Business Administrator Apprenticeship has been a springboard for progression. Charlotte Jones, now Operations/Project Manager at the  Greater Manchester Learning Provider Network (GMLPN), is one such example.

In 2014, Charlotte was completing her A-Levels and, despite her college’s emphasis on university routes, was unsure that university was the right choice. She wasn’t sure what she would study and was concerned about student debt. It was a conversation with her mother that first led her to explore other options:

“My mother worked at an independent training provider, so I had some knowledge of apprenticeships. When we spoke about them, what appealed to me was the prospect of real work experience in a professional setting, and, at the same time, earning a salary and obtaining a recognised qualification. I then began my own research to find the ideal apprenticeship for me.”

Charlotte knew she wanted to work in a business environment, but was unsure which sector would be right for her. That led her to a Business Administrator Apprenticeship as she saw how it would provide her with a strong foundation in business fundamentals. Charlotte successfully applied for a role as a Project Administrator with GMLPN, a role which closely matched the syllabus for the Business Administrator Apprenticeship standard.

Once her apprenticeship began, Charlotte’s training from Damar, combined with good support from her new colleagues at work, rapidly made a difference:

“I considered myself a shy, introverted person when I started working, often questioning my value to the team. However, the Business Administrator Apprenticeship positively impacted my confidence by pushing me to develop my communication skills in the workplace. I gained experience, learned to network, and connected with fellow apprentices facing similar challenges.”

After successfully completing her apprenticeship, Charlotte was promoted from Project Administrator to Project Coordinator at GMLPN and this prompted her to explore what could come next.

“My line manager suggested I investigate other apprenticeships or qualifications to advance my career. Impressed with my experience with Damar, I returned to them to explore my options. That’s when I learned about the Level 5 Operations or Departmental Manager Apprenticeship.”

Level 5 Operations or Departmental Manager apprentices learn to effectively manage teams and projects. Key responsibilities include creating and executing operational plans, project management, team leadership, and change management. This was a perfect fit now that Charlotte was starting to manage projects and internal and external stakeholders:

“This apprenticeship was well-suited to my development, and I could see how the skills and knowledge I was gaining could be applied in my role.”

Charlotte’s biggest challenge was balancing her workload, responsibilities, and apprenticeship deadlines not least because as her roles evolved she took on more responsibility and work. She credits her line manager at GMLPN and her dedicated Damar coach for supporting her in finding the right balance to succeed in both areas.

“When it comes to Damar, everyone I’ve encountered has been incredibly helpful. My coaches for both apprenticeships were always available to answer my questions, challenge me, and push me. I am grateful for their support, as it boosted my confidence and belief in my abilities. I cannot thank Damar enough, and I truly believe in the power of apprenticeships to support one’s journey.”

Charlotte’s journey has not stopped there. Her next step was to a Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship with the Manchester Metropolitan University from where she recently graduated with first class honours. And, at work, she has been promoted again, to Office/Project Manager. All with no student debt and several years’ of salaried income.

Charlotte has also become an advocate for apprenticeships, regularly speaking at events including, most recently, at Damar’s annual conference (pictured below).

At Damar, we believe in the power of apprenticeships to create real, long-term value for individuals and organisations, just as they have done for Charlotte and GMLPN. If you are equally ambitious for your colleagues and your organisation to achieve their potential, we would love to hear from you.

Find out more:

To learn more about our Level 3 Business Administrator Apprenticeship and how it could launch your career or benefit your organisation visit:

If you are interested in recruiting an apprentice, using apprenticeships to develop the skills of your current team or want more information about the apprenticeships we deliver, please reach out to a member of our Business Development team on 0161 480 8171.