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National Apprenticeships Week 2021: Meet the Apprentice – Katie @ Iko

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We hope you enjoyed reading yesterday’s interview with Oliver @ Infoserve, today we would like to introduce you to Katie from IKO. We’re really glad Katie agreed to an interview, as we wanted to prove an important point – apprenticeships are not just for new starters!

Apprenticeships are a fantastic way to upskill and progress with career development. They’re available whether you’re hoping to learn a new skill, cement your knowledge with a qualification, or take the next step in your career.

Read on to find out how Katie got on!


Introduce yourself!

My name is Katie Byrne, I am doing the Business Administration Level 3 Apprenticeship and I currently work at IKO and have been here for 3 ½ years.

For what reasons did you decide to do an apprenticeship?

I decided to do an apprenticeship to benefit myself in the future. I am currently the technical admin supervisor and decided to do this apprenticeship on the side as I wanted to better my knowledge surrounding all things business. I felt as though it could help me be a better manager as I was gaining more knowledge in everyday admin tasks and I felt as though I could learn a lot to develop my skills to make me stand out more should I apply for another job in the future.

What do you enjoy about your apprenticeship? What have you enjoyed learning?

I enjoy learning new things whilst doing my apprenticeship and I feel as though it is giving me more confidence in what I do day to day. I have enjoyed learning more about the business that I work for as I feel it gives me a better understanding of the apprenticeship as well.

Would you recommend apprenticeships to others? How come?

I would definitely recommend doing an apprenticeship to others as I feel it can open up so many opportunities for the future and it will help to build your skills. I would suggest looking into all apprenticeships available to ensure you are picking the right one for yourself and what you want to do.

Where do you hope your apprenticeship will take you in the future?

I hope my apprenticeship will help me to gain better job roles in the future and hopefully take me to a higher up managerial role than I am already in. I aspire to do the best I can and let that reflect in my work.

We also had the pleasure of interviewing Paula Leigh, who is the Learning and Development coordinator at IKO. We’re delighted so many employers are seeing the benefits of continuous learning for their staff. Let’s hear what Paula has to say about apprenticeships.


Introduce yourself!

Paula Leigh, Learning and Development Coordinator

Why did your company choose to take on an apprentice?

Katie is an established member of staff within IKO who is keen to learn and develop so an apprenticeship was an obvious fit for her. This will give her an all rounded view of business and help her to be exposed to new things, learn new skills and develop fundamental behaviours that will help progress her career.

How has your apprentice benefited the company?

Katie has been learning new skills that has enabled her to put new processes in place and have better knowledge of where she can put her own skills in place to help the business.

What has surprised you about the apprenticeship programme?

How much Katie has already progressed and built her confidence and with the extra support she is making a difference in the her role.

Would your business consider taking on apprentices again in the future, if the need arose?

At IKO we are proud to use apprentices already and continue to use them as a development tool too with some great success.


A big thanks to IKO for chatting with us about their experiences for National Apprenticeship Week! Remember, all of this week we’ll be sharing interviews with the apprentices and employers we’ve had the good fortune of working with.

If you’re interested in learning more about taking on an apprentice, head over to our resources for funding, the apprenticeships levy and how to hire an apprentice.

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