West Berkshire Training Consortium
Marcia Milson (Winkfield Parish Council) Business Management
Marcia Milsom has been working for Winfield Parish Council for 6 years and is a Deputy Clerk. Marcia undertook an NVQ Level 3 Apprenticeship in Management, through WBTC and achieved her qualification in just 1 year. We asked Marcia what got her interested in Apprenticeships and how it has helped her progress her career…
Describe your job. What do you do on a day to day basis?
My role is very varied, no two days are the same. I have a core set of tasks which include the finances for the Council, purchase and sales ledger, dealing with bookings of our facilities, including recreation grounds, sports pitches, halls and allotments and issuing agendas and subsequent minutes of Council meetings.
As we are here to serve the community we never know what issues are going to be raised by residents. Many will contact us to raise concerns over planning applications near their residence, advise on damage they have noticed at our facilities or just to ask for contact information about local services. As we have some great facilities in our Parish we have a lot of callers wanting to hire them out. This could be for a children’s party, a wedding or to use one of our outdoor BBQ’s. We also get a number of personal callers to the office paying invoices, picking up deposits or joining our tennis club.
Following a Council or Committee meeting there are usually a number of decisions to be actioned, writing letters, liaising with our Borough Council, ordering equipment, arranging maintenance or organising Working Party meetings for specific projects. It’s an interesting job and satisfying to know that you are hopefully helping your local community.
Have you been promoted at all as a result of your Apprenticeship training?
I haven’t been promoted but I have taken on extra tasks and hours.
What got you started on the road to an Apprenticeship?
We were lucky enough to receive some information on the WBTC Apprenticeship scheme and decided that this could be a useful addition to my skills and to help me enhance my role within the Council.
How has an Apprenticeship helped you?
The Apprenticeship has enabled me take on an extra role in managing our grounds team working towards improving our services and maintaining our facilities both in a cost effective and pro-active way. It has also helped me look at our existing work practices and I feel more able to assess these and look for ways of improvement. Of course it is also an extra string to my bow and will be a useful addition to my CV.
Where is your future, or how do you see your career taking shape?
Having worked in Local Government now for 15 years, I have gained so much knowledge that I don’t envisage moving away from this and I hope to progress on to become a Parish Clerk in the next couple of years.
How did WBTC help you?
WBTC were there every step of the way. My assessor was in contact and visited regularly, setting assignments and working through how these could be achieved. I also attended the WBTC centre in Newbury for some training sessions which was really useful as there were others there doing the same course but in very different industries which helped me to see things from a different aspect. We did have a bit of ‘role-play’ which is always embarrassing for me but it did improve my confidence and mean that you could try out what we had learnt and watch others to pick up some good tips!
Would you recommend Apprenticeships to others?
Definitely! I’m no youngster and honestly believed that my days of working towards additional qualifications was over, particularly as I was not in a position to commit to full-time training. By being able to work towards an NVQ while continuing to work has helped my achieve this. Not only have I increased my knowledge, it has enabled me to look at ways of improving my working practices and I have been able to add extra tasks to my job.
It was a very methodical process and helpful to be able to use my working practices to complete my assignments, rather than having to think of imaginary scenarios.
Doing an Apprenticeship has also made me realise that you’re never too old to train and I am thinking about whether there are other training opportunities that I would like to undertake to further enhance my skills.