Linard Laith

Major Works Assistant

 

What originally attracted you to taking an apprenticeship at Catalyst?

I wanted to start working but I also love learning new things and figured this way I could do both at the same time. I finished my A-levels and realised I didn’t want to go university as I didn’t feel it was the best way forward for me. It was an easy decision since you can learn and earn at the same time when doing an apprenticeship. It was just about finding the right apprenticeship and I went with Catalyst as they are a well-established business.

What have you learnt from doing an apprenticeship?

During my apprenticeship I learnt how a professional business works in different ways. I have seen and learnt how they operate to provide excellent services and I have taken inspiration from that and applied it to my work. It helped further develop many of my skills such as communication, since you will need to constantly communicate with internal and external stakeholders in a suitable manner depending on the situation. I learnt how to work with my colleagues but also how to work with our customers professionally.

What has the support been like during your apprenticeship?

Beginning my apprenticeship working from home was scary and I thought it would be pretty much impossible to be successful. But the help I have been provided is amazing. I had a mentor, my manager, and a “buddy” to help me. I was very happy with the support provided as whenever I needed assistance there was someone to help. My mentor had regular catchups once a month to see how I was getting on and to set new targets for the next month. There were also other teams within the department who were kind of to let me shadow them to understand their work and how they work with my team.

What would you say to a future apprentice looking to sign up to an apprenticeship whilst working full-time?

I would say go for it! You will learn so much and have all the help needed for you to be successful. You will also be earning an income stream which is always a good thing and gain a full qualification which you can take progress further. There is also the potential to stay and get a full-time job at Catalyst which as I have said, is a very well-established business with many benefits. Catalyst also helps you with your apprenticeship and are very supportive in allowing you to have that time you need to complete your apprenticeship. You will not regret the decision and I am speaking from experience!

What Linard’s manager had to say:

How did having an apprentice impact the wider team/organisation?

In a word: support. Linard has consistently proven himself to be a trustworthy member of the team who completes his work to a good standard and in good time. Linard has provided consistent support to the team, relieving some of the day-to-day pressures allowing more time for some project work. This also improved our SLAs and therefore improved the customer experience.

How did you support Linard to help get the most out of his apprenticeship?

My approach was to spend a lot of time with Linard, showing him the ropes and explaining the wider context of the tasks he was undertaking so he could gain as much experience as possible from the opportunity, and understand where the work he does, fits in with the wider business goals. Linard was probably sick of my voice at times…but I tried to use as many situations as possible as learning opportunities for Linard to learn about housing generally.

What has your experience of working with Seetec as the apprenticeship training provider?

Linard’s coach Asta was a real pleasure to meet with and she explained in full what she needed from me as a manager and when, so we made the best use of the meeting time; it never felt unnecessary or burdensome. I feel that we worked as a team to help Linard to get the most out of his apprenticeship experience. Overall this was a supportive space and I feel Linard was in good hands in a friendly environment.

What would you say to your fellow Catalyst line managers who are considering taking on and supporting an apprentice?

It does take additional time and effort to properly support an apprentice, and at the start, I was a little apprehensive about the additional strain and whether I could support this. However, I got a real gem in Linard and the support he’s provided has been more than worth it, not to mention the personal reward you feel at helping a colleague to progress in the way Linard has. When Linard first joined he was new to property, and he’s now able to identity who’s responsible for maintaining window frames under the terms of a lease! Needless to say, I’m very proud of Linard!