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Salary: £13,230 per annum
Location: Leigh, Greater Manchester
Application Deadline: EXPIRED
Job Type: Degree Apprenticeship
Contract Type: Permanent
We believe everything starts with our own people. Our recruitment process is amongst the most comprehensive in the industry to ensure we are selecting people with values similar to our own. We invest heavily in training and have constant ongoing development so that our employees are skilled and well-equipped to service our customers in the best way they can.
We see profit as an outcome of providing excellent products and services as, if we do these things well, profit will take care of itself. As a business we reinvest our profits back into the business. Our training programmes, development schemes and system upgrades are constantly being refined to ensure smooth and efficient success. Reinvesting profits completes the cycle of our philosophy and compliments our continual learning and improvement culture.
At First Response Finance we use a "systems thinking" methodology which means everyone within the business is engaged with the decisions we make - every view counts. Our approach is designed to make our service and customer experience the best it can be.
My apprenticeship with First Response started differently to the process we have now. I had already completed my first year of Uni at Nottingham Trent studying BA Business Management when I was contacted by the university to let me know there was a company offering an apprenticeship so that I could work while finishing my degree. After attending an open evening and an assessment day I was offered the job, and transferred over into my new Uni course BA Management and Leadership where I joined students working at Rolls Royce and Experian.
Studying for a degree alongside working is challenging but the support I had from Penny at First Response and my university mentor was invaluable. One of the things I liked about the course is being able to take what you learn at university and immediately apply it to what you are doing at work which helps to see which theories/models work and which don't. It was also useful being able to spend time with people working in different departments within First Response that were relevant to my degree. Overall doing this course is difficult, you need to be disciplined and organised to fit doing a degree around a full time job. However, the benefits from doing both at once and the end result of having a degree and three years of work experience has made it well worth the effort.
My time at First Response Finance has been challenging as well as rewarding. The degree apprenticeship programme has allowed me to develop and progress as an individual and gain skills such as; communication, team working and decision making. I have had the opportunity to make improvements to the current processes at the company and I believe that it is great to know that First Response Finance trust an apprentice, like me to produce good quality, reliable work that benefits the company. The company supports me regarding my day to day job and any concerns I have with university, they will do anything to help however, it is down to me to organise and manage my time effectively and achieve the results I want.
Rosie May Hope
I always knew that the 'university lifestyle' wasn't for me, but I wanted to find a way to further my education, so when I found out about the degree apprenticeship at First Response Finance I was quick to apply - not only am I getting a debt-free degree, I am earning money whilst learning! I am able to apply the learning from university into a real-life business which helps me to develop my understanding of the topics we cover, adding value to my university assignments.
One of the most enjoyable aspects about my apprenticeship at First Response is that I am involved in a real challenging role with opportunities to progress. I have been involved in various different projects in the company that align with my future career goals. The support that you get from First Response is great, as they really look to push you to succeed not only on the apprenticeship but also in your career with the company.
The degree apprenticeship programme at First Response Finance offers a blend of academic study with practical experience. University assessments are often applied to real, current topics specific to First Response Finance, and access to managers/company data allows for a more enriched learning experience.
The programme also offers as much support as you could need from both a professional and academic perspective. It requires a higher level of commitment than a traditional university degree, but it is also very rewarding seeing projects have an impact on the business.
Work-life balance is also recognised as important by everyone on this program, as long as students are proactive and realistic about workload, a healthy work life balance is more than achievable.
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After finishing my sponsored degree, I began discussing next steps with my team leader and began working towards a promotion into a new department in the business. I was encouraged to speak with the Team Leader of that department and undertake different tasks to increase my knowledge of the area by reading up on theories that are used within the team. Many of these concepts were reminiscent of things I had studied on the apprenticeship programme through university, which enabled me to grasp the concepts quickly and effectively.
Choosing to apply for the Sponsored Degree Apprenticeship at First Response Finance was the best decision I could've made - I never wanted to go to university full time as I didn't see the point in doing a degree I wasn't sure about and then being stuck with the debt afterwards! However, First Response gave me the opportunity to work towards securing a Business Management degree while being able to directly apply my learning to my full-time role within the company, whilst being paid!
In addition to this, the support at First Response is great - not only do you have the other apprentices to bounce ideas off and lean on, but the company ensure that your line manager and the early careers mentors are available to support however they can. I've found this to be hugely beneficial, and it makes the whole process a lot less daunting. Managing a full-time role within the company alongside a university degree can be difficult but it's all down to how you manage your time; First Response have been really supportive in helping me to plan my time and see what works and what doesn't for me personally.