Helen - Business Administration

The perfect place to start – Helen successfully joined the workforce as a Business Administration apprentice at Serco

Fleet local Helen Miller joined Serco as a Business Administration apprentice in August 2019. Six months into an 18-month programme at the Woking Council Environmental Services contract, Helen is already making an impact.

After finishing college, Helen wasn’t sure what to do next. “I wanted to go to university, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to study, and it seemed like too big a commitment to make without being sure of the job I would want to do when I came out.”

So, Helen decided to take a year off, travelling to Cairns in Australia for a couple of months. On her return, Helen decided her part-time job at the local supermarket was not something she wanted to do full-time. “That’s when I came across the Business Administration apprenticeship. It sounded like the kind of role I was interested in, so I started looking on the UK government’s Find an apprenticeship site, which is where I found the Serco apprenticeship advertised in the Environmental Services contract in Woking.”

After successfully navigating the application process, Helen began her apprenticeship in August 2019.  “I’d heard of Serco before, but I wasn’t sure what they did,” Helen said. “In my first few weeks the supervisors took me out and showed me what each of their teams do. This Environmental Services contract is part of the UK&E Citizen Services business unit. In Woking we do several services for the local council including street cleansing, grounds maintenance and tree work.”

Six months into an 18-month apprenticeship Helen has learned a lot more than she expected. “As a business administrator I thought I would be just inputting data, but I have been given the chance to really become part of the team and make a valuable contribution to the contract.”

A typical day for Helen starts at 8am. “Once I get into the office, I start by looking through the emails that have come into the helpdesk. These could be from the council or the public. I help a colleague to run the helpdesk throughout the day and I’m now able to take over for the day if he’s not in. I process waste tickets from when they’ve gone to the tip and there is paperwork that needs doing on a daily process. Then on top of my day-to-day work I have to keep on top of my apprentice coursework. I probably spend about a day a week on coursework spread out over the week.”

“My manager has been really supportive in making sure I know what I’m doing and that I’m enjoying the role. I never have any pressure on me, so when I get tasks to do, I’m able to manage my own time to get them done to the best of my ability. We have a really good team, and everyone supports each other.”

Helen would definitely recommend a Serco apprenticeship to others. “It’s the perfect place to start, and you can always take it further. I’m keen to carry this on and continue learning new skills. It’s also been good to find out what it’s like to work in an office!”