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Natasha Callaway, Business Administration Apprentice

Girl sitting at desk

In my role I help to assist with the development team by organising meetings with local authorities, Homes England and building contractors. I also assist with creating important documents such as bids to Homes England, as well as helping provide information for press releases, purchasing properties and working with other departments on major projects. I’m enjoying learning about different processes, such as leasing and coding invoices, and being involved in the new development process, including arranging with contractors what work needs to be carried out.

Our development team is small – there’s just four of us - but we all get along well and everyone is very supportive and understanding and I’m happy to be part of the team.

Colin Salisman is the Development team’s manager – he is extremely knowledgeable about property and has lots of development experience. Nick Richards is my line manager and he has a vast and useful knowledge (especially of Bournemouth postcodes).

Sam Watt is the team’s Assistant Development Officer and we started on the same day, which I think has been useful for both of us, as we haven’t felt quite so much ‘in the dark’ about working at BCHA.

One of the benefits of the apprenticeship scheme is the opportunity to be paid to study for a nationally recognised qualification. The BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Business Administration teaches you how businesses operate and explores many aspects of work life such as customer service and managing tasks.

You use working life examples in your assignments, so it’s helping me understand how I can contribute positively and progress in my career. It’s interesting for me learning how the voluntary sector fits in within the business side of the apprenticeship. I’m able to link the housing association and my job role into most life examples within my assignments.

I chose to do an apprenticeship because I had just finished two years at college and had no clear idea of a career path with what I wanted to do or where to go next. I had just moved at the time and had considered a few different options, such as going to college in a new area or going to university.

I had worked for three years and didn’t want to give up working to study, or have the difficulty of trying to find a job while studying full time. I felt I was ready to go into working full time, but I also felt I had already made my mind up a long time ago that university wasn’t for me.

After looking at courses on Bournemouth and Poole College’s website, I discovered they offered apprenticeships. I then found different apprenticeships available through the government website and applied for a few. After the application process I had a choice of three different apprenticeships. I chose BCHA because I liked their mission, values and goals and I wanted to be a part of the organisation to help them achieve their new five-year business plan. I had a number of criteria, including job security, how well organised the company was, how I could improve within the company and a varied job role, as I didn’t want to do the same things every day. I’m pleased to say that BCHA ticked all these boxes for me.

I’ve been here since September 2020 and I still have no regrets with my decision, the team I am part of and the other teams I work closely with have all been extremely helpful and understanding, considering I came in with very little knowledge. I already feel like I’ve learnt an outstanding amount and I’m learning lots more every day.

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