Cheryl Turner is a business administrator who joined her local waterway team as an apprentice 10 years ago. Find out why Cheryl enjoys her work and why she thinks team work, mentoring and training are so important.
"I hope our apprentices understand what can be learned from those who have worked here for so many years, so the waterways can continue to thrive." Cheryl Turner
I left school after completing my A levels, and decided I wanted to work in an admin or customer service role. I enquired about apprenticeships at my local college, and they advised that I would have to find my own placement. I only had a month to do so, and I sent out my CV’s everywhere.
Job title: business administrator
Length of service: 10 years
Apprenticeship details: Business Admin NVQ Level 2 and 3
Training provider: Newark college
One of my friends’ Mums worked at British Waterways (now the Trust) and she told me they were looking for apprentices. Her name was Vanda Coleman. I took in my CV and told Vanda I was really keen on the opportunity. I then got my first interview with Vanda and her colleague Tracey Parkin, which was just a general one. I remember googling the company and doing a lot of background research to find out what the waterways were all about.
I then got my second interview with Andy Watts, who became my line manager. Both interviews felt very welcoming and I was at ease with those I spoke with. Straight away I felt this was somewhere I would fit in and wanted to work.
I learnt lots from Vanda and the local teams, making connections which have benefitted me greatly over the years. I passed my NVQ level 2 and 3 with flying colours and did several extra modules over and above what was required. This was thanks to Vanda mainly, who mentored me. We made a great team.
It’s been a pleasure to work with a wide variety of people at the Trust, and a number of teams have really helped boost my knowledge of the waterways and the hard work necessary to keep our canals and rivers flowing.
The day I was told I had a permanent job was a great feeling, and I can’t believe I am still here 10 years on.
Working with our customers
I have been involved heavily with customer service side of things, which I have always enjoyed. Over the last 10 years I have built up a good connection with our customers and have had many opportunities to go the extra mile and help to improve their experience on our canals and rivers. I find working here very interesting and there is always something new to learn. Through working here, I have been able to buy my own property, which was a great feeling.
Helping new apprentices
While on secondment as management, I had the wonderful opportunity of mentoring our new apprentice Nathan Budd. As other people have helped me in the past, I assisted Nathan and he has gone on to successfully complete his NVQ Level 2 in Business Admin. He also now has a permanent job within the team and we continue to work together. All the other teams helped Nathan, as they had once helped me, and his knowledge and experience has developed accordingly. It was a great opportunity to watch him grow within the company and he has gone on to be an asset to our team. He is great to work with. It is things like this make the job worthwhile.
I hope our apprentices understand what can be learned from those who have worked here for so many years, so the waterways can continue to thrive.
Last date edited: 3 March 2017