Case study

JCB apprentice Ioan gets his career off to a solid start

JCB employee, Ioan Evans, is partway through the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship. Here, he reflects on why he wanted to undertake the apprenticeship, what his initial impressions of the course are, and how it's already benefitting his professional development.

Reasons for taking an apprenticeship

"Since hearing about degree apprenticeship programmes when I was around 13, I was set on it. The idea of being able to earn and learn was very appealing to me. Not only do I get paid to do my degree, but I also get the opportunity to apply my learning to work and vice versa.

"Ultimately, this gives me a potential edge over traditional university students who don’t ordinarily get to apply their learning as they go along and don’t get three or four years' work experience.

"Being an apprentice in the workplace means I get given projects and tasks which give me the opportunity to develop myself. From this I get vital experience, which if applied right, should aid me in progressing after my apprenticeship."

The benefits so far

"So far, the most notable benefit has definitely been the ability to apply my work to learning and learning to work. Studying for my degree has made me look in greater depth at my company’s structure and systems, enabling me to understand more about the organisation I love and work for.

"As well as this, my apprenticeship scheme allows me to change job roles every three to six months. This massively benefits me as I can apply my university knowledge to new areas, as well as gaining a much deeper understanding of the organisation's systems. An ordinary employee, who might change job roles every couple of years, may not have as varied knowledge of different job roles.

"The apprenticeship has also given me lots of independence and responsibility. My responsibilities range from the simple — such as handing in my university coursework on time — to handling large projects at work, such as designing a new website and implementing new systems. Such tasks have really benefitted me as I have learned invaluable skills, such as time management, which will aid me throughout my career.

"As well as the independence I’ve gained, there has also been a huge amount of support from previous apprentices on my course. They offer advice as well as a mentoring scheme which consists of bi-weekly meetings to facilitate my development. This support has greatly assisted me, helping me to organise my apprentice evidence (for my End Point Assessment) and make decisions on my next steps with regards to my career. Such support wouldn’t be offered to an ordinary employee, so I am very grateful to be on an apprenticeship scheme.

"Another huge benefit is a free degree while working full-time; I get the same degree as a full-time university student, in the same amount of time, while being paid and gaining the all-important work experience.

Working for such an amazing organisation is giving me major experience that will help me in the future when trying to progress up the organisation. It’s a bonus that I can gain this experience alongside a free degree and no debt."

Impact on my professional development

"Overall, the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship has contributed massively to my professional development. I’ve had the opportunity to run projects within three months of joining my organisation, the running of which was aided by the content learned on my university course. From this I’ve learned a great deal about running a team, working as a team, time management, the ability to network and even advance my IT skills, to name just a few. I will carry forward such skills into future placements to further myself, both as a person and professionally.

"The apprenticeship gives me the opportunity to reflect on the challenges/projects I face by applying them to the 'KSBs' (Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours) that we must complete in order to finish the apprenticeship. The KSBs allow me to identify areas for further development. In due course, this will aid me in my career as I am constantly seeking new ways to improve myself and the systems within my working environment. This attitude is one I will ensure I keep throughout my life, not just in my career, and should help me to reach my goals."

Tips for anyone considering an apprenticeship

"My top tips are as follows:


Find out more about this apprenticeship

Read more about the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship, including what it entails and what kind of roles it prepares you for.

View Chartered Manager Degree ApprenticeshipView Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship