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Apprentice Story

Laura Rose is currently completing her Procurement and Supply Assistant Apprenticeships with ODS through Oxford Professional Education Apprenticeships.

Here, Laura tells us what it’s been like to study for the apprenticeship. You can also hear from her manager Natalie, about what it’s been like having an apprentice onboard at ODS.

The Apprentice view - Laura Rose

Why did you decide to sign up to the apprenticeship?

Before starting my apprenticeship, I had completed A Levels in Business and Law. I wanted to carry on studying, while at the same time gain some practical skills. I really enjoyed studying business, so I felt like a Procurement Apprenticeship would help me apply new knowledge to my role itself.

How are you finding the apprenticeship?

I’m really enjoying the apprenticeship. It’s very interesting and I’m always learning something new as Procurement is a whole new world to me! Sometimes it can be challenging, but I have my study day to help me keep on track and I can always ask for support from my manager.

How does the apprenticeship support your daily work?

The apprenticeship provides me with the knowledge, theory and understanding to excel in the workplace. My studies also help me think of new ideas and suggestions to apply to my role.

Tell us about the company and what your job role involves?

ODS provides services on behalf of Oxford City Council. I provide support to my manager, Natalie, including procurement activities, supply set ups, contracting extension letters and admin support.

Soon, I’ll be leading on a tender which is a fantastic opportunity!

Would you recommend this apprenticeship to others?

Yes, I would definitely recommend this apprenticeship to others. I enjoy learning alongside my job role and having the time to study. The OXPEG team are supportive and are always available for questions. There are lots of helpful resources to help me study.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of starting an apprenticeship?

My advice would be stay organised, don’t let yourself get too overwhelmed and always ask lots of questions.


The Managers view - Natalie Sowden

Can you tell us about a little bit about your company?

ODS is a multi-faceted company providing services from construction, highways and engineering, to waste management, fleet and motor transport. ODS is like a social enterprise, it’s owned by Oxford City Council. Our ambition is to build a business that’s good for everyone; one that creates a more sustainable economy truly balancing purpose and profit.

What were your reasons for taking on an apprentice?

ODS has an ambitious and innovative apprenticeship programme. We know that the academic route is not the only option for career development and successful people. By investing in young people and those looking to kickstart their careers, ODS can help secure its future whilst providing life-long skills for people throughout the region.

Can you see progression in your apprentice’s workplace skills due to the programme?

Yes, absolutely. Laura has developed lots of new skills, not only through her work-based learning but also as a result of the content covered in the CIPS modules themselves.

What advice would you give to a company thinking about taking on an apprentice?

I would highly recommend taking on an apprentice. It is an opportunity to ‘grow your own’ talent and bring a fresh perspective to the workplace. It is important to remember that young apprentices are likely to need some additional support to reach their full potential. At ODS, we offer additional support to develop life skills through our mentor system and we have created a community of young apprentices as a support network.

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