Putting her Heart and Sole into a Customer Service Apprenticeship with Local Cobblers

Angela Harland tells us first hand that her apprenticeship ‘rounded me more than I could have imagined after being out of education a while’ after a lifetime involved in Agriculture and Equine. Angela decided take up an apprenticeship in Customer Service with Star Cobblers, in Barnard Castle following in the footsteps of her grandfather who was a cobbler back in the days of making clogs. 

‘Sitting back in a classroom was a little alien’, says Angela and ‘computers were not my strong point’. However, her tutor, Debra McCabe, was by her side to call upon and ‘it could not have been a better experience’ as ‘we managed to set my work at a pace which we were both happy with.’ 

Angela goes on to say of her experience during the pandemic, ‘when COVID-19 struck, that put an end to classroom education as I knew it and I was faced with having to join a Google Meet at home, a whole new experience. Since then, I have learned a new set of skills like presenting my work and sharing it with others in my classroom. 

‘At regular intervals Debra gave me a Digital Skills programme to work through. It started with the basics, organising files and folders, professional emails, creating safe passwords moving on to creating a presentation and spreadsheets. All these skills are necessary for a successful Customer Service Apprentice and my tutor has been with me every step of the way’. 

‘An apprenticeship in this vocation has been the right route for me. Even with the knowledge and skills that I had at the start it has been so important to me to learn other skills at a pace I am happy with. Whilst learning about the business, GDPR, customer conflicts and the importance of customer loyalty, etc, I felt under little pressure whilst putting my heart and soul into my work.  

I have not been too afraid of asking for help, standing back and observing and questioning reasons for a way of doing something. This is what an apprenticeship in my mind is all about; we are there to be mentored and moulded into someone that a company can be proud of.’ 

If you are interested in an apprenticeship either as an prospective apprentice or an employer email business@darlington.ac.uk

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