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#NAW2021 Apprenticeship Case Study: Shannon Keating, HR Apprentice at CCP


National Apprenticeship Week 2021

Gloucestershire College is a proud champion of apprenticeships. To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week 2021, we are showcasing success stories from our amazing apprentices and employers.

We caught up with Shannon Keating, Assistant HR Advisor at CCP, who started her career as a Level 2 Business Administration Apprentice with the charity in 2014. After progressing onto Gloucestershire College’s Level 3 Business Administration Apprenticeship, Shannon then went on to complete her Level 3 Human Resources Support Apprenticeship programme and is aspiring to start her Level 5 programme in the future. Shannon’s apprenticeship experience shows how the scheme can be used build up your career and maximise your professional development by earning qualifications and gaining essential work experience at the same time.

CCP – Caring for Communities and People

CCP is a charity based in Cheltenham, founded in 1989, which transforms the lives of children, young people, families and vulnerable adults by preventing homelessness, strengthening families and promoting independence. Employing over 250 members of staff and supported by a team of outstanding volunteers, CCP delivers services and projects in Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire, South Gloucestershire, Bristol, Wiltshire and Dorset.

Find out more about Shannon’s experience as a HR apprentice below.

Shannon Keating, Assistant HR Advisor at CCP

Why did you decide to complete our HR Apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is how I got the job I’m in today. I’ve found an apprenticeship to be the easiest way to learn as I’m getting experience on the job whilst also completing a qualification. Before I started my HR Level 3 Apprenticeship, we only had one HR Manager within CCP so my manager suggested the apprenticeship programme would be beneficial. Within the past year of me studying, our workplace has grown to 250+ employees so the need for extra HR support was definitely there! I passed my apprenticeship’s End Point Assessment in November.

How has your apprenticeship programme helped you in your job role and how did you manage to fit studying around your work commitments?

The apprenticeship programme has helped me in my job role as I’ve been able to learn more about aspects of HR that were relevant to my studies. I’ve even started to attend a few employment law events so I have a better understanding of legislation in place that affects employees and employers. My job is full-time so to ensure I had the right balance of studies and meeting assignment deadlines, I would set protected time in line with the 20% off the job training required for apprenticeships. This allowed me to complete any apprenticeship assignments whilst also still being able to carry out exit interviews and Return to Works.

I’ve been working remotely since the UK was plunged into lockdown in March 2020. I was then given the responsibility of managing sickness absence so I had to quickly gain an understanding of the symptoms and self-isolation periods associated with Covid. I have continued to feel supported whilst working from home and have regular meetings and video calls.

How did your line manager and tutor at Gloucestershire College support you during your apprenticeship?

My line manager has supported me by ensuring I got the relevant experience on the job for the six units that were included in the HR apprenticeship. I had regular day releases to college so I had the support of my peers and tutor during the sessions, as well as regular phone calls, video calls and workplace visits with my tutor and my line manager to understand my progress with my assignments and if I needed any further support.

What was your favourite thing about your apprenticeship?

My favourite thing about this apprenticeship was that it included a day release to college so it meant I had the support of the students on my course which was really nice as we could share ideas with one another.

Now that I am qualified as an Associate Member of the CIPD I hope that my role will change from Assistant HR Advisor to HR Advisor and I can get a better understanding of all areas of HR within the organisation. Once my knowledge develops, I may consider completing the Level 5 HR Apprenticeship qualification.

Would you recommend doing an apprenticeship?

I would 100% recommend anyone doing an apprenticeship as a way of getting into the workplace. I spent six months being unemployed following the completion of my A Levels. I had multiple interviews and was stuck in the catch-22 of being told someone else had more experience than me yet no one would give me a chance. I then went down the apprenticeship route with Gloucestershire College and started my Level 2 in Business Administration in 2014. I will now have been in my job at CCP for 7 years this April, and have since completed a further three apprenticeships.

Apply to become an apprentice with Gloucestershire College

If Shannon’s experience has inspired you to become an apprentice, we’d love to hear from you. Open to anyone aged 16 or above, apply for your chosen apprenticeship programme through our website and we can help you find a local employer who is looking to recruit new talent. If you are already employed, you can use the apprenticeship scheme to upskill and gain qualifications to boost your career. Explore our programmes and get in touch with our Business Hub team to get started.  

Recruit an apprentice with Gloucestershire College

Awarded ‘Gloucestershire’s Apprenticeship Training Provider of the Year 2020,’ Gloucestershire College is committed to delivering excellence for our apprentices and employers. Our GC Business Hub team will listen to your needs and requirements and advise on the right training programme for your business. Our HR apprenticeship programmes have a range of start dates throughout the year, and we can help you recruit an apprentice free-of-charge if you don't already have somebody in mind.

Contact: or call: 01452 563400.


Why Gloucestershire College?

We guide any ambitious and motivated person on their journey through education and their career, by providing the right environment that encourages and nurtures individual talents.

Our industry-standard facilities and experienced teaching team provide our students with the skills businesses truly need.

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90% of students would recommend GC and 95% said that the teaching on their course was good.

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  • We offer industry relevant facilities
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