To mark National Apprenticeship Week 2022, we hear from Emma Waplington who is currently undertaking an apprenticeship while working at HLM.
“It has led me to think in different ways and how I approach certain tasks in my day-to-day role, and I am excited to develop the skills I have learnt over the last year even further”
Emma is based in our London studio, and has only a few months left of her apprenticeship in Project Management before she achieves a level 4 qualification. She gives us some background on what interested her in the course, and how it has aided her development so far.
What interested you in undertaking the Level 4 in Project Management?
I did the Business level 3 apprenticeship with Multiverse when I started at HLM, and the Project Management course is the next level to progress onto. The providers suggested that it might be of interest to me, and when I looked into what it involved, I felt it would align with where I saw my role heading, giving me the opportunity develop my skillset and learn something new.
How is the course run?
It’s a 15–18-month course which covers multiple different knowledge areas including governance, stakeholder & communication management, leadership, scope & resource management, risk management, quality management, and procurement.
Much of the learning consisted of once-a-month interactive group workshops/seminars which focused on real life application of key project management skills.
Alongside this, we also had 1:1 sessions with our tutor which were to discuss our individual development along the course and our portfolios, which you work towards each month using examples of where you have showed project management skills in your role directly
What assessment is required to complete the course?
To achieve the qualification, you have to sit a 3-hour 15 min exam which consists of essay-based questions which test your knowledge on all the modules.
Once you pass the exam, you then go through to the End Point Assessment / Gateway which consists of you completing a presentation and portfolio-based interview.
What have you enjoyed about the apprenticeship?
The main thing I love about apprenticeships is applying in real life what you learn in the textbooks; it’s all about applying what you’re learning to your role directly.
How has the apprenticeship program helped you to develop new skills?
It has led me to think in different ways and how I approach certain tasks in my day-to-day role, and I am excited to develop the skills I have learnt over the last year even further, especially as my role begins to transition more heavily into the project management side of things.
I feel it has led me to speak to lots of new people, and I have found it interesting to gain a further insight into the different projects we are working on at HLM, and the ways we manage them through our Integrated Management System.
Why would you recommend the apprenticeship?
What I’ve really enjoyed is the range of topics the course covers, and the detail you go into for each module. There is also a community hub where people post lots of useful articles and host talks on various topics – I’ve learnt so much doing this particular course.
How does the apprenticeship fit into your professional development?
My role is transitioning into Assistant Project Manager, which I’m currently doing 3 days a week, alongside one day study leave for the apprenticeship, and one day doing Studio Executive tasks whilst training the new Studio Executive. It aligns with this well, and is setting me up for when I eventually transition to the APM role full time when I qualify.
"It’s great that HLM are listening to and investing in our team by providing development opportunities that align with our goals. I’ve watched Emma embrace her studies so thanks for being an enthusiastic and dedicated apprentice. I look forward to seeing that knowledge put into place on our projects. Emma’s new role will provide valuable project support and allow us to improve our quality of service and focus on what we do best – designing great places"
Paul Holmes, Associate, commented on Emma's apprenticeship: