Case study

Management apprenticeship helps Bryde secure promotion

Bryde Beighton was working as a Business Services Officer for Derbyshire County Council when she started her leadership and management apprenticeship with us. After only six months, she gained a promotion thanks to her new skills and confidence, and is now proud to have achieved a 2:1 in her degree.

Wanting to be a better manager

Like many people, Bryde found herself in a role that required her to manage people, but she’d had no prior experience or training in this. She says:

“I knew I had a knack for management, but I didn’t know what sort of manager I wanted to be. I was just trying to learn from what others did — copying them and hoping for the best.”

When her line manager encouraged her to apply for a leadership and management apprenticeship with the University of Derby, she was keen but a little hesitant: “I’d never done a university degree before,” she explains. “I had gone to college and then into employment, but I’d never seen myself as academic. I’ve been told that I’ve probably got dyslexia and dyspraxia, so I was worried about the writing side of things.”

University support

Bryde needn’t have been worried. She soon found support and adjusted to the academic expectations: “The lecturers and tutors were really supportive, and the University gives you plenty of time between assignments to get them done. Once I learned what you had to do and how to reference sources, I was fine.”

She encourages others who haven’t studied at a higher level before not to be put off:

“I wouldn’t want anyone to feel like they couldn’t do it. My written work has changed so much now in such a positive way. I’ve really surprised myself. A Merit/2:1 is the highest mark I’ve ever got in any qualification! I’m so pleased.”

Bryde Beighton, leadership and management apprentice

It’s had a huge impact on what sort of leader I want to be. I don’t feel unsure of why I’m here now and where I’m going next. I am qualified in what I do now, and it’s given me the skillset and knowledge to become an enhanced leader.

Bryde Beighton
Business Services Manager, Derbyshire County Council

The impact on her career

After six months on the apprenticeship, Bryde had the confidence to apply for a promotion — to Business Services Manager — and got it.

“I would not have had the confidence to go for the role if it wasn’t for the apprenticeship,” says Bryde. “The course focuses on you as an individual manager, so you look at your weaknesses, strengths, and how you can improve. So, it’s had a huge impact on what sort of leader I want to be. I don’t feel unsure of why I’m here now and where I’m going next. I am qualified in what I do now, and it’s given me the skillset and knowledge to become an enhanced leader. I’m extremely grateful for having the opportunity.”

The impact on her organisation

Bryde’s line manager, Josie Hill – Service Manager for Adult Social Care and Health, summarises how the apprenticeship has brought benefits not only to Bryde herself, but the wider team:

“Undertaking the Apprenticeship has been valuable for Bryde’s personal development but also been of benefit to our service as a whole. It has given her professional leadership and management skills which have helped us take a consistent and proactive approach in developing the performance of our team.

“Bryde has also been able to share and model these skills within the team, so others can benefit from her learning, and good practice can be embedded across the service. As her line manager, my practice has also benefited from our reflective supervision conversations, where Bryde has shared learning or reflected on the application of her learning in practice.”

Advice for people considering an apprenticeship

Bryde is clear that the apprenticeship was a positive experience for her and that she’s greatly benefitted from it professionally. But she knows it’s a huge decision to start an apprenticeship and she says it won’t be right for everyone:

“I can honestly say that I have thoroughly enjoyed the entire course and learned so much from it — and I didn’t expect that! So, if you are enjoying the role you’re in but want extra learning and clarification that you’re doing the right thing, I would 100% recommend it. But make sure it’s a path you want to go down. You’ve got to enjoy it a lot and you need to be self-motivated.”

She also has advice for managing study alongside work: “Make sure you have the support of your line manager and can carve out the time you need, for example, by passing on work to others. The classroom sessions pull everything into one or two days for the entire module, which is perfect for someone working full-time.”

A group of manager sitting in a meeting.

Apprenticeships work

Apprenticeships work for everyone. They offer companies the chance to embed new skills and grow talent within their workplace, while they offer apprentices the chance to learn on the job and earn at the same time. In partnership with Buxton and Leek College, we offer apprenticeships from levels 2-7.

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