Our training, your way

Our Business Administration Apprentice Adam Gillespie - winner of Apprentice of the Year 2017 at Thurrock Business Awards, is excelling in every way under the guidance of his employer - intu Lakeside.

20-year-old Adam originally attended a college course before choosing an Apprenticeship, but soon became dissatisfied with the little knowledge he was gaining and the amount of free time he had. He, therefore, sought alternatives and the apprenticeship route appealed to him as he realised it was a great way to gain practical work experience and qualifications at the same time.

The intu Apprenticeship scheme appealed to Adam in particular as it is very different from a typical Apprenticeship due to the fact it started as a General Apprentice Scheme. After gaining experience in a variety of shopping centre departments, Adam was given the opportunity to choose which department he would like to stay in for the final year and he decided to go into Business Support for HR.

Adam’s growing list of achievements includes winning ‘Apprentice of the Year’ at Thurrock Business Awards. He is currently a finalist in the Essex Business Awards for Apprentice of the Year, and he has been featured on ‘Your Thurrock’ website and the intu company blog and websites multiple times.

What has Adam learned so far from the Apprenticeship training programme?

Adam has learnt an incredible amount about HR policies and procedures as well as payroll, including organising recruitment for the entire centre. In addition, Adam’s job involves maintaining the organisation’s training records, signing off permits (Risk Assessments and Method Statements) on their internal contractor tracker system. He has also used a CAFM system called Concept Evolution which allows the organisation to assign jobs to engineers and maintain records. It doesn’t stop there, Adam has also achieved the following:

  • SIA Security Guarding (Full License)
  • IOSH Managing Safety
  • Spectator Safety Level 2 NVQ
  • First Aid Level 2 (3-day course)
  • Customer Service Level 2 NVQ
  • Business Administration Level 3 NVQ


How valuable has the practical experience in the workplace been and why?

Adam claims that the practical experience in the workplace is essential and very valuable as he has learnt how to interact with many different people, and understand the variety of ways in which different people communicate. Adam said that even learning the proper business email etiquette has been important, “as it is easy for someone to receive a different message than you intended on email.”

 “The special thing for me is seeing people develop over time and seeing how important recruiting the right person is to a business who wants to have a strong brand image.”

What are Adam’s Plans for the future?

Short term he is looking to excel in his current role with intu in providing the very best support he can to the Business Support Team, and to develop some of his creative ideas that he says he has had “stored away for a while!”

Long-term Adam would like to continue his career with intu and HR but also has a passion for supporting and tutoring new people as well as apprenticeship scheme development.

How does Adam describe his experience with Paragon Skills?

“My experience with Paragon Skills has been an amazing time. Adele my Personal Tutor has been able to manage to teach and tutor me throughout my short time I had with her. I was originally enrolled through another training provider that went into administration, unfortunately, causing me to have a prolonged amount of time without tutor support.  Paragon Skills was an eye-opener for me due to the fact that they have taught me things I need to know to complete my qualification rather than just advising me what to write or say. Every aspect of my qualification that I complete is from the knowledge that I gained from my Personal Tutor or work experience, and if I’m unsure, Adele is always available to help me. From the experience I’ve had, I would 100% recommend Paragon Skills to anyone I know who is interested in an Apprenticeship.”

To find out more about how you can gain BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION qualifications at Paragon Skills visit our site here or call 0800 783 2545.

The Apprenticeship has boosted my confidence and helped me stand out in the company. I would recommend if anyone is considering an Apprenticeship to just go for it. It makes you very attractive to other companies as they love people who like to learn.



Why Choose Paragon?

20 % of our learners progress onto the next level qualification
1500 The number of employers we work with in England
89 % of employers say apprentices make their business more productive