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Mariam Asif

Knowing she wanted to learn in a working environment rather than heading to university, Mariam made the decision to leave sixth form college and look for an apprenticeship opportunity instead.

Mariam Asif

And after starting her apprenticeship with Sanctuary in November 2017, aged 17, Mariam has no doubts she made exactly the right decision.

"I chose to do an apprenticeship because the idea of university just didn't appeal to me - I would much rather experience working in a professional environment first-hand, while learning and developing office and communication skills.

Mariam's apprenticeship sees her working with Sanctuary Supported Living's (SSL) Contracts and Support team, where her responsibilities include setting-up, amending and extending contracts for clients receiving support services, as well as helping ensure directory and contract spreadsheets are kept accurate and up-to-date.

I did some research and the Business and Administration apprenticeship with Sanctuary really stood out as a great opportunity. The chance to learn while you earn, as well as developing both life and works skills, were great contributing factors to me choosing an apprenticeship.

She also spends time working with SSL's Marketing team, helping to promote the brand to a wider audience and contributing to successful initiatives such as Ready, Steady, Grow 2019 - a gardening competition open to all SSL residents.

One of the things she values most about her apprenticeship is the support from her colleagues.

Mariam said: "A few members of my team are former apprentices and they help and advise me, while my line manager is also supportive and understanding.

"It has been rewarding to learn so much about Sanctuary Supported Living and the way things operate. Now I am able to help with almost any enquiries that come in and am confident liaising with other teams in the organisation to ensure everything runs smoothly."

For now, Mariam is focusing fully on making the most of her apprenticeship. However, should an opportunity arise, she would love to secure a permanent position with Sanctuary in the future.

Download a printable PDF version (132KB) of this story.

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