Teen proves it pays to earn while you learn

Former Ellon Academy pupil Shannon Elrick is juggling her work as an administrator around studies for a Modern Apprenticeship in business administration
Former Ellon Academy pupil Shannon Elrick is juggling her work as an administrator around studies for a Modern Apprenticeship in business administration

In the world of business there are a number of people responsible for keeping the wheels turning at a company, but the role of an administrator can often be overlooked.

The job is one of the most important roles any organisation, and plays a vital part in ensuring business operations are properly managed and effective.

At ITCA Training, former Ellon Academy pupil Shannon Elrick’s job as an administrator is highly important at the award-winning company.

Based in the Kirkhill Industrial Estate in Dyce, ITCA work with a range of companies across the North-east to provide a variety of engineering and fabrication courses on-site at its Dyce premises.

ITCA also deliver business focused Modern Apprenticeships including business administration and logistics operations, and has a highly experienced team of assessors on-hand to deliver courses.

Shannon is responsible for the ongoing management of the apprentices training and attendance records, and reporting back to the employers the firm partners with.

She also deals with a wide variety of administrative duties which vary according to the requirements of the awarding bodies and Skills Development Scotland, and the needs of the private client market. She also promotes the work of the company through different social media channels, and meets and greets clients and potential learners.

Through her employment at ITCA, Shannon, 19, is also completing a Modern Apprenticeship in business administration under the watchful eye of ITCA managing director, June Jones, who has been assessing business administration courses to a high caliber of learners at a multitude of companies, for more than 20 years.

Although June is responsible for the overall running of the business, she continues to assess the ever evolving business and administration modern and technical apprenticeship and the SVQ level 4 qualifications to as many learners as possible.

She said: “Business administration is relevant in numerous job roles and is a great qualification for any candidate in a range of industries including oil and gas, service industries, banking, hospitality, food and drink, and healthcare.

“ITCA is very proud to facilitate the delivery of modern apprenticeships and help young people gain the qualifications they need to ensure they are competent in their job roles. I visit learners in their workplace to assist with their studies and assess their work. Despite the other tasks I have to do, my role as an assessor is still the best part of my working life and I am very passionate about the qualifications I deliver to my own candidate base.

“Shannon is a fantastic asset to ITCA, and I am highly impressed by her attitude to both her job and her learning. She has excellent computer skills is eager and willing to learn and has lots of organisational skills, creative and innovative ideas that as a business owner I am encouraging her to develop. Certainly employing our own apprentice has been an extremely rewarding and worthwhile experience and I would definitely encourage other businesses to do the same.“

Shannon said: “I was originally going to leave school when I finished fourth year to study photography at college, but I decided to stay on for fifth year and after studying a variety of business focused subjects I felt it made sense to learn and earn when the opportunity of employment and to continue my studies with a modern apprenticeship came along.

“I feel that I am gaining far more experience in my role with ITCA as I am learning so much by working while I learn. I have support from my colleagues at ITCA, who time to explain things, and are really good at helping me. June assessed my course work and I follow the same development plan as her other apprentices in other organisations.

“I would definitely recommend taking the apprenticeship route as you gain far more experience in the world of work and get paid to earn money while you learn. My Modern Apprenticeship has exactly the same credits on the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) as an HNC should I have decided to do a theory based course at College but I have also demonstrated my ability to do a job not just the theory of the tasks.”