My Apprenticeship Story by Kaisha Revell, Courtney Palmer and Keagan McKay

Courtney Palmer
I was Taught Skills for the Job and Skills for Life

I started my Apprenticeship with Stoneacre Motor Group back in July 2017, after leaving school aged 16. My school was fortunate enough to have a sixth form, so most of my year carried on through year 12 & 13, however I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do. I had fortnightly meetings with the school’s career advisor who helped me look though my different options such as college and different apprenticeships within Doncaster. I decided it would be an apprenticeship that I would like to do but still had no idea as to what I would want the apprenticeship to entail.

I applied for Stoneacre at the start of June and was invited to an assessment day later in the month. I was nervous for the assessment day as I was in a room with several other candidates and managers for different job roles. We did different activities throughout the day including teamwork tasks and maths and English tasks to see what sort of level we were at followed by a one-to-one interview with the manager. I was offered the Apprenticeship the same day, and even though I was still awaiting my GCSE results I was assured that if I didn’t get the grades I was expecting (4-9) I would still have a job and they would help me and put me through my functional skills.

I was appointed as the Systems Support Administrator for the Academy, working towards my Business Administration level 2 qualification. I had two previous part time jobs during school which were customer service based so this type of role was completely new to me. My role is heavily IT based so I was mentored massively by my Mentor and Assessor throughout my apprenticeship, especially in the first few months to help progress my IT skills. I didn’t have any IT qualifications from leaving school to complete my Business Administration Qualification, so I had to sit an IT exam. The functional skills tutor was luckily also my Assessor, so I had no issues completing this exam.

After completing my level 2 in Business Administration I then moved on to complete my level 3 and I now manage the online training platform for the group. My knowledge has developed massively not only in Administration and IT but within every course I have had to put onto the platform as I have had to help within creating and providing the resources for the courses.

As a person I’ve always been quite outgoing but entering a work environment where I was surrounded by adults kind of threw me, for maybe two or three months I was really reserved and quiet. I was hesitant to answer the phone and didn’t feel comfortable speaking to new people. The department really helped to bring me out of my shell (which they now probably regret), you’d have never believed now that I was once the shy girl who used to put my head down and refrain from involving myself in conversation. I’m so thankful for everything the team has done for me, because if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be the outgoing striving woman I am today. Not only have they taught me skills for the job they’ve taught me skills for life. I now manage my own apprentice and love to help him develop and flourish in his career.



Kaisha Revell
From Criminology to Academy Administrator – the Stoneacre Assessment Day Changed My Life!

I had just left University after studying Criminology for a year, as I felt that it wasn’t for me and I realised I no longer wanted to be in a classroom environment full time, but instead I wanted to earn and learn. I made the decision to apply for a Business Administration Apprenticeship at Stoneacre and shortly after received a phone call from the recruitment department. I was pre-screened and invited to attend an assessment day with other applicants. I was uncertain about attending as I thought I’d crumble under pressure and make a fool of myself but attending that day has changed my life.

I’d always been aware of Apprenticeships, but I thought University was the only path I could take that could lead to success, however after some research and speaking to my parents I realised that I could gain both beneficial qualifications and valuable experience at the same time! All I needed was a GCSE or equivalent in Maths & English which I had already achieved, but even if I hadn’t, I learnt that most training providers will put you through your Functional Skills.

The 14th of May 2018 was my first day as Apprentice Academy Administrator. If I was put into a room with the person I was back then, I wouldn’t even recognise myself. I lacked confidence in all aspects, from communicating with strangers to making decisions, I struggled to leave my comfort zone and I never thought I’d grow to become independent. When I first started my Level 2 Business Administration apprenticeship, the nerves were almost too overwhelming as I had no idea what to expect.

Everyone in the Academy was so supportive, there was no question that was too silly to ask, and I felt so welcome to join the team. They’ve taught me new employability skills such as self-management, how to carry out my responsibilities as the Academy Administrator independently and to a high standard and because of them, I no longer question myself and I have the confidence to step outside of my comfort zone, taking on new challenges and constantly trying to better myself as not only an employee, but as a person too.

I completed my Level 2 apprenticeship and was then given the opportunity to progress onto my Level 3, where I then became the Lead Academy Administrator as well as the mentor of a brand-new apprentice who has recently joined the team. With the Academy rapidly growing, I find my skills and knowledge are strengthening too. I learn something new every day and I always have something to work towards. Whilst it has been difficult and challenging at times, there’s no better reward than coming out at the other side.

I couldn’t have become the person I am today without the help and support from my amazing team and my assessors along the way. To think that back then I couldn’t make a decision without reassurance or create conversation with people I’d never met, to now, presenting to some of the directors of Toyota in my managers absence and making key decisions within my role. I’ve got a long way to go but I can’t wait to see where my career for life with Stoneacre goes.


Keagan McKay
Accepting an Apprenticeship was the Best Decision I Ever Made

When I arrived at Stoneacre I was 16, fresh out of school and started as an apprentice within Stoneacre Academy. I’d achieved numerous GCSEs including maths and English, which helped me when applying for the apprentice role. I didn’t want to stay on at school or go to college; I was always eager to start earning my own money from a young age. I always wanted to gain as much experience and qualifications as I could to add to my CV.  Five years on, I’m still working for Stoneacre with high ambitions to move up within the company.

If you know me now, you wouldn’t believe I was quiet, shy, with no confidence and no clue what sort of industry or job I wanted to get into. I was hesitant to do the simplest of tasks, such as answering the phone and speaking to anyone of higher authority than myself. Fulfilling a role on a daily basis was overwhelming for me as I felt so young, out of my depth having just come from school, and in a job I knew little about compared to what I do now. But that changed very quickly. I first came in for an induction day before an interview was arranged and then fundamental training and help was arranged throughout my apprenticeship.

I started as an apprentice on the Bodyshop department at Head Office, Thorne. This job was difficult to begin with as I had never done anything like this before. However, I soon found my feet and settled in pretty quickly.

This job involved contacting customers and booking them into the branch network for bodywork repairs, and liaising with insurance Companies to get customers booked in after a road traffic accident. My apprenticeship was a year long and after all exams had taken place I gained a Level 2 in Business Administration.

After two and half years work as a Claims Administrator, an opportunity for a trainee position arose at Head Office within HR. I became eager to move on within Stoneacre so applied for the Trainee HR Advisor role internally. I was successfully offered the position and given the best opportunity of joining the HR team.

I went through months of training and learning new systems before being promoted to a fully qualified HR Advisor after 14 months. Stoneacre gave me the opportunity further develop my HR skills and relevant qualifications, and therefore I have also recently completed a year at Doncaster College and gained a level 3 CIPD qualification.

I have always been very outgoing and confident but entering a work environment where I was surrounded by adults initially made me go into a shell and I tucked myself away until I gained the confidence. I soon realised that accepting an apprenticeship was the best decision I’ve ever made.

Whilst it has been difficult and challenging at times, there is no better reward than coming out at the other side.

I am happy to say that Stoneacre has given me the chance to progress within my career and I am very lucky to be able to say that I’ve had excellent support surrounded by people who I know will continue to develop me both as an individual and in the role I am doing.

I am very excited to see what the future holds for me within Stoneacre Motor Group


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