Apprentice Charlotte

Charlotte Jones – The power of apprenticeships

Charlotte Jones started on a business administration apprenticeship at Damar and is now an Operations/Project Manager at GMLPN.

Tell us about your journey with Damar Training and where you are now.

I have been with the Greater Manchester Learning Provider Network (GMLPN), for just over 9 years. I started as a Project Administrator on a level 3 business admin apprenticeship with Damar. I have progressed within the organisation and I’m currently the Operations/Project Manager. Since I started, I have completed three apprenticeships, two of which have been with Damar (business admin level 3, operations/departmental manager level 5). I have more recently completed the chartered manager degree apprenticeship at MMU, receiving a 1:1 and a merit at my end-point assessment. During my level 5 apprenticeship, I won Damar’s Higher Apprentice of the Year and Overall Apprentice of the Year awards which was a great honour!

How did you find out about apprenticeships?

When I finished my A-Levels, my college were pretty adamant that I should apply for university, but I knew that route wasn’t right for me. I’ve never been one of those people who always “knew what they wanted to be when they grew up”. So for me university felt like a big commitment to something that I wasn’t 100% sure that I wanted to do but I knew I wanted to continue to learn. I then started looking at an apprenticeship as my next step, as it seemed to be the best of both worlds! I looked online into what apprenticeships were, and how to apply. I started searching on the Find an Apprenticeship website, and also Get My First Job. Again, I didn’t really know what job I wanted to do, but the business admin apprenticeship seemed to be a good starting point for whatever my career was going to be.

Did you have a good understanding of apprenticeships before joining Damar?

As I didn’t have much input from my college on apprenticeships, I found most of the information online about apprenticeships. I had created a profile on Get My First Job which is when Damar then got in touch about the apprenticeship opportunity. When I first spoke to Damar, they were able to explain the apprenticeship process generally, but also the business admin apprenticeship specifically.

How did you find the apprenticeship with Damar and the support you received from your coach?

All the staff at Damar have always been amazing. You can tell that the culture at Damar is one that truly cares about the apprentices and supporting them to succeed. The apprenticeship journey was clearly set out by my coach at the start of my apprenticeships, including what was required of me, but also involving my employer in the discussions which was great! The coaches I had made my apprenticeship feel like a partnership between myself, them, and my employer.

How and why did you move onto further qualifications?

Even though it was technically a sidewards step from my A Levels, my business admin apprenticeship acted as a stepping stone into the workplace. I’d done a business A-Level, and had a part-time job during college, but I didn’t feel ready or confident to be able to go straight into an office environment. This apprenticeship was a catalyst for my career at GMLPN and gave me a view of what my career could look like. At the end of my level 3 apprenticeship, I had discussed potential progression opportunities with my coach. I continued to progress in my role and received a promotion.

Initially, I didn’t feel ready to jump straight into another apprenticeship, so I had a few months break. I then started the conversation about my next apprenticeship. My employer was very supportive, and my coach discussed options with me, and the three of us agreed the level 5 management apprenticeship would be a perfect next step for me. This apprenticeship worked really well as I was progressing in my job role, being given more responsibility at work, and learning key theory and principles as part of the apprenticeship that I could apply. After completing the level 5 apprenticeship, I wasn’t interested in completing another apprenticeship initially. I had a few years where I continued to be given more responsibility at work and received additional promotions. The idea to progress onto the degree apprenticeship came from my employer as my role and responsibilities had increased. I was able to build on the learning from my level 5 apprenticeship and really maximise the impact of my degree apprenticeship.

How did the support and guidance you received from Damar help your development?

I think what was nice about the support from Damar regarding development and progression, is that I didn’t feel pressured that I needed to progress onto the next level apprenticeship (which was something I had felt from college when talking about university).

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 our business administration apprenticeships page.

If you are a current apprentice with Damar, seeking some careers information, advice and guidance, please contact