Cynthia Bruno Gaston, Business Support Officer, Apprentice Manager

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Cynthia manages apprentice Thameena within the Finance and Governance department at Waltham Forest Town Hall.

Cynthia provides Thameena with a variety of challenges that support her career development and build on her current CV, for example:

  • maintains the case management system/runs monthly reports for generation clients / lawyers / and fee-earners
  • supports services working on annual audits, yearly inspections to see if standards are met
  • cash handling – tallying / replenishing
  • finance – precision pay e.g. produce credit card claims for me to approve – mainly used for topping up Oyster cards
  • Legal Services Website – Thameena works with new staff to collate information and ask for management’s approval – ensures information is removed when staff leave
  • generic roles – administrative duties, troubleshoots when something is not functioning, for example laptops, supported co-ordinating what is required for new offices

What impact and benefit does an apprentice bring to your service?

An apprentice can fill in the gap within teams, which managers don’t have the capacity to do and would knock them back from carrying out high-level work.  Having an apprentice increases productivity, builds team rapport, is an extra pair of hands to assist with projects e.g. client portal, brings a positive attitude and fresh ideas.

Why did you take on an apprentice?

To fill a gap in the team, apprentices are value for money and provide opportunities, our director is very positive about taking on apprentices.

Have there been any challenges in managing an apprentice?

Too many people are involved in the process which makes things run slowly – every role needs to be clarified so people are clear about who they need to talk to at each stage.

Would you consider taking on another apprentice?

Yes.

What advice would you give to those considering taking on apprentices?

It is worthwhile, beneficial to the apprentice and the service; it’s an opportunity to delegate tasks.

and there is progression for the apprentice.

What supports did you receive in terms of taking on an apprentice?

Quarterly meetings with my account manager Harpal Rull – allowed improvements to be made on areas for development.

What are the apprentice’s next steps?

A permanent position – expressing an interest in a new job role.