Local resident joins site team as an apprentice
22 year old Allayna Leon-Clovis, joined the Chelsea Court site team early last month to start her Apprenticeship with ENGIE. Allayna is also a local resident living in the borough.
Since starting her Business Administration apprenticeship, Allayna has been assisting the site team including Senior Site Manager, Daniel Barbu and Assistant Site Manager, Timur Yusuf, with their daily activities.
We caught up with Allayna recently to ask her some questions about how her apprenticeship is going:
Q: What was you doing previously and what's your reason for taking on this apprenticeship?
I previously worked part-time in retail. I didn't want to continue working in retail and wanted to finally utilise the IT skills that I did have to go into an administration job, but I didn't know where to start. When I came to the interview, I was both nervous and excited, but the more I spoke to Suzanne (Trainee, Apprentice and Graduate Development Officer) and Daniel (Senior Site Manager) the more comfortable I became.
Q: What have you been doing during your apprenticeship so far?
Mostly online training - I've also completed most of my assignments during the first few weeks of my apprenticeship. Whilst on site I was learning the different applications and websites that are used to communicate and design plans. I've also done filing, printing and scanning as well as working on some tasks using Microsoft Excel and Word.
Q: What do you plan to gain from your apprenticeship and are you on course to achieve this?
I plan to expand my knowledge since I've mostly worked in retail and health & social care settings. I have experience of working with others and interacting with people of all ages, but this apprenticeship allows me to learn the business side of the workplace and utilise the skills I already have. I also plan to expand on the skills I already have.
Thanks to help from the Site Managers and Suzanne, anything I've been confused about has quickly been answered, meaning I should be on course to achieve my apprenticeship goal. Whilst telling me about their experience of working with ENGIE, Suzanne and the site team have also offered me various opportunities for learning off-site.
Q: Is the apprenticeship what you expected?
Yes and no - Coming from a job where I was constantly on a shop floor, I thought this role would be much calmer and have more structure, which it does, but it is much quieter and friendlier than I expected. I was aware that this is a male dominated workplace, but everyone on site has been so kind and welcoming.
Q: What have you enjoyed most about your apprenticeship so far?
I enjoy coming to my workplace and the being in the site environment. I also enjoy doing the small daily tasks - hopefully as time passes it will become second nature.
Q: How do you plan to utilise the skills you've learnt in the future?
There are so many various roles available because of this apprenticeship. If there is a role available at the end of my apprenticeship I would like to take it on full-time as long as it suited my character and skills whilst also allowing me to grow further career-wise.
Q: What has your relationship been like with the other staff and how have you found the day-to-day working environment here at ENGIE?
So far, the guys on site have been very friendly and have told me their experiences of working at ENGIE. They assure me that they understand the feeling of being in a new environment and that it will take time to adjust. They all seem to get long great which is fantastic to see, especially early in the morning.
Q: Where to you hope your journey takes you next?
I hope that after the 15 months of being an apprentice I can say that I'm more experienced and have worked in every opportunity ENGIE provides me with. If I'm not working with the same people at the end of my apprenticeship I hope that I'm working in a position that would be of more assistance.
Q: Would you recommend an apprenticeship with ENGIE to anyone else, and if so why?
I constantly tell my friends how my apprenticeship is going and how much fun I'm having, as well as the response for help being extremely fast. While I thought it would be difficult working and studying at the same time, it's just finding that balance. The ENGIE team have made it clear that anytime I just need time to focus on a task to not hesitate to ask since Daniel (Senior Site Manager) also has experience of working as an apprentice.
For those that are hesitant to go into an apprenticeship with ENGIE because they are worried they aren't suited to the role or that they wouldn't do well - as someone that has zero experience in not only administration but also working in construction I'd say go for it. The people you work with closely each day as well as ENGIE's training department are there to help you, but also don't hesitate to reach out to other colleagues as well as other apprentices.
Keep an eye out in our newsletter and our news feed for further updates from Allayna throughout her apprenticeship.