Jumaimah Naliya decided she wanted to take part in an apprenticeship after secondary school rather than going onto college like all her friends were doing. In February 2021, at the age of 16, she joined Together Housing Group’s People Team as an apprentice.

With her apprenticeship coming to an end this summer (2022) Jumaimah tells us below about her experience at Together Housing, and what her plans are next. 

“People kept telling me the negative aspects of apprenticeships to try and discourage me, saying things like I wouldn’t be able to go on to university or that it was a waste of time and what was the point if I didn’t get any qualifications from it. But I’m glad I stuck to my guns and decided to take on an apprenticeship, so far, it’s been a great experience and I’ve really learnt a lot.

As for no qualifications, I will get a NVQ Level 3 in Business Administration, and I have been offered places at two different universities to study BSc (Hons) in Business Management.

Not only have I got a qualification, but I have gained lots of practical experience in HR. It’s been a great experience and I would really recommend it to anyone thinking about it but aren’t sure. I can understand why people were discouraging me, apprenticeships aren’t always seen as a gateway to more opportunities but in all honesty, it has opened up a world of opportunities for me now. I can apply for more jobs if I want to and be on a good wage which will only increase, or I can go onto University in the knowledge that when I leave I will have the unique selling point of having experience of working in a complex organisations and one of the largest Housing Associations in England.

Competition is fierce for new graduates and this apprenticeship will help put me in front of potential employers as an excellent candidate.

The Apprenticeship

It’s nice to be in a work environment and be respected and made to feel like part of the team – I really enjoy it. I was so surprised when I got the call to say I’d got the job after my interview but I’m glad I did, the time has flown by.

I wanted to do an apprenticeship because I wanted to change my outlook and challenge myself. I thought it would be better for me to be in an environment with people older than me and more focused on their work and careers and I think this has helped me decide what I want to do and feel confident in myself. The apprenticeship has really helped me with my confidence.

Before I didn’t know how to talk to people in many situations but because I’ve learnt so many new skills and the team is so welcoming and feels like family, I find I can talk to lots of different people now from senior staff to other apprentices like me!

I’ve never felt like I don’t belong or made to feel like my questions are silly, everyone has been really helpful and inclusive. My job is to make sure that all staff have had the training that they need to be compliant to do their jobs. I currently attend college one day a month via a virtual college and spend the rest of my time at work.

Some days can feel stressful particularly when you’re in the moment but when I reflect I think that’s the times when I’ve learnt the most. I can always talk to my manager and team about anything and ask for help if I need it.

Currently, I’m working on my final project as part of the apprenticeship which is something that we have to do. Once my apprenticeship ends I’m going to spend time with my friends and family. I’ve had world of work experience and now I’ll be taking on the student experience.

Wish me luck!”

Read more apprenticeship cases studies here