Higher Level Apprenticeships: Lisa's story

Higher Level Apprenticeships: Lisa's story name

Our apprentice case studies give you an insight into what it's like to study a higher or degree level apprenticeship here at the University of Cumbria. Lisa is the Assistant HR Business Partner at the University of Cumbria, and is currently on the Higher Level Apprenticeship (Level 5) in Leadership and Management.

About Lisa

My current role as Assistant HR Business Partner at the University of Cumbria requires me to provide advice and guidance on a range of recruitment, administration, HR policies and procedures to applicants, employees and line managers which can be measured against our aim to deliver core HR business to high levels of customer satisfaction.


Why did you want to undertake a higher level apprenticeship?

I’d never studied a higher level qualification before undertaking the apprenticeship as I went straight into employment.

I have previously struggled to study outside of work and therefore the opportunity to study at a higher level, in my place of work, in a familiar environment with existing and known colleagues was very much welcomed.

I take my responsibilities as a line manager seriously and am committed to supporting and developing my team. I had previously attended internal staff development courses aimed at improving my skills, but I was keen to undertake a qualification which developed the new skills and knowledge I need in my current role and would be transferable going forward.


Which apprenticeship course did you undertake at the University of Cumbria?

Higher Level Apprenticeship (Level 5) in Leadership and Management.


How are you finding the apprenticeship experience?

It’s been enjoyable but hard work trying to combine a full time job with studying.  My group is very supportive and encouraging and there’s a real sense of ‘we’re all in it together’.  We all work full time, we all have home lives, and we’re all new to studying at this level at this age. 

Our tutor, Margaret, is fantastic.  She’s extremely supportive and patient with us and understands how we feel about studying later in life, with busy careers and lives and she encourages and reassures us.


How does the learning on your course link to or compliment your job role?

This course links with my service’s business plan to ensure we can continue to add value to our recruitment and administrative processes, and develops my skills as a line manager.


What is your favourite part of the apprenticeship experience?

Probably the other students.  We debate and challenge each other, and share opinions and experiences in a professional and supportive way.


What effect do you hope doing this higher apprenticeship scheme will have on your career?

I’ve already noticed that some of the day to day actions I take can be defined in more managerial terms, and I have learnt that I have skills I didn’t know I had.  It makes me think about my role as a line manager and how I can enhance not only my own performance but that of the team, and has made me reflect on my own management style.


What would you say to other people thinking about enrolling onto a higher or degree apprenticeship?

Just have a go.  You can learn the theory in the classroom and put it straight into practice in your workplace, meet other managers in similar situations to you and share your experiences and develop your skills.  Oh, and gain an accredited qualification at the end of it all.

To find out more about Higher and Degree Level Apprenticeships at the University of Cumbria, visit our Apprenticeship Hub.