Unlock potential: Why every technical apprentice needs personal development

Technical apprenticeships are invaluable pathways for individuals to kickstart their careers in fields like engineering, IT, construction, and beyond. While the focus of these apprenticeships typically revolves around technical skills, there’s an equally crucial aspect that often gets overlooked: personal development.

In this blog, we’ll explore why personal development is essential for every technical apprentice and how it can unlock their full potential.

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Make time for 15 minutes of learning everyday

Campaign for Learning’s ‘Learning at Work Week’ is another fantastic opportunity for employers and their staff to review and invigorate their learning and development efforts.

This year’s theme ‘Made for Learning’ focusses on how as humans we are constantly learning and adjusting our understanding and behaviours accordingly. Certainly, this last year has never been such a fine example of us all having to adapt and evolve as we navigated the COVID- 19 pandemic. But how can we take our human capacity to learn and turn it into something more purposeful for active lifelong learning?

Making habits stick

Our routines have been ever changing this last year so how do you schedule time and make habits stick for consistent, active learning?

15 minutes each day – make it achievable

Committing to 15 minutes of learning each day amounts to over 90 hours of learning a year. That’s more than 2 average working weeks and over 10 years it’s almost half a year! Imagine what you could achieve, learn and become in that time.

Use your commute – find a pocket of time

Bite-size bursts of learning are short enough to do during a commute or first thing before checking emails. Considering that many employees are now home working the time that would have been used for their commute could be used for learning, helping to boost motivation for their day ahead.

Appreciate the benefits – self-improvement and wellbeing

Schedule and allow this time for you and recognising the importance it has on self-improvement. Learning directly contributes to self-value and enriches wellbeing as well as expending your knowledge.

Being ready to learn

So you’ve found your pocket of time but what could you do, whether it’s informal or formal learning here’s a short list of reminder ideas:

  • Watch a TED talk www.ted.com
  • Read a blog article, whitepaper or report 
  • Watch a YouTube video
  • Listen to a podcast
  • Complete an e-learning module
  • Create a reading list and have a selection to hand whether it be books, magazines or trade journals
  • Talk to a colleague about what you’ve learnt

With just 15 minutes a day it doesn’t appear much at first however over time the accumulative effect on your knowledge, skills and behaviour will be significant. The important thing to remember is that learning can take place anytime, anywhere and there are so many different ways to learn especially with the increase of online learning over the last year – choose what works for you to make habits stick and become lifelong learners.




The Power of 10 – Productivity Method

The Power of 10 is a tool to schedule measurable and manageable activities into your day to support mental health and wellbeing, which in turn promotes increased productivity.

The power of 10 began from realising the importance of using any spare moment possible to benefit my wellbeing during lockdown and maintain the best balance between working, parenting, housework and “me time”. I really struggled with this juggling everything last year and started to do some research to assist. I found so many articles and suggestions and was amazed how many activities seemed to be linked to the number 10, from top 10 songs to improve your mood to 10-minute HiiT sessions. So maybe this could be used as a “magic” number to guide my self-help.

The more I thought about this it made sense and I could make this work to my advantage, if nothing else as a starting point I could manage 10 minutes out of my day.

For the first week I used 10 minutes as a framework but doing different activities each day. Walking for 10minutes, 10 minutes reading, 10-minute phone call to a friend etc. I was amazed how much better I started to feel.
From here the idea of using 10 as a quantifiable base expanded rapidly, firstly I tried 10,000 steps in a day then 10 pages of a book, and also writing down 10 things that were really bothering me and how to deal with them or to actually let go of the negative feeling.

I have also now started to use the Pomodoro technique which is a 6-step time management tool alongside the “power of 10 activities” to increase my productivity without increasing my stress levels. By scheduling my day even further into task time slots and using the associated breaks mindfully.

After a month of using both techniques I felt like back to myself and I have used the “power of 10” daily ever since. Anyone can use it and it can mean what suits them on any given day from physical activity to emotional outlet. It is about creating “tasks” to schedule into your day to benefit yourself.

You can even share your “power of 10” ideas with your colleagues and friends to support them too.

Vicky Seel – Operations Manager

What’s on your wellbeing checklist?

10 tips for wellbeing to help see you through the challenging winter months…

As we all face the ongoing challenges resulting from the pandemic and the transitions it brings as lockdown eases, we thought that sharing our ten tips for wellbeing may be useful this mental health awareness week: 

  1. Keep in contact – even though teams may be working remotely, try to find new ways for social conversations to keep connected with your colleagues, as routines change. It can become very easy to just focus on the work at hand but make sure you are finding time for that ‘chat at the water cooler’ too!
  2. Keep your steps small to achieve your goals – our Wellbeing Videos offer guidance on breaking down your goals into smaller steps. Your workload may seem more challenging when having to operate in different working environments and uncertain times.  Small steps always help.
  3. Get plenty of sleep – remember to switch to decaff in the afternoons and keep an eye on the thermostat – did you know that the best temperature for sleep is between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit?
  4. Keep active – take a break from your desk and where possible enjoy the outdoors for exercise that you enjoy and feels right for you.
  5. Try a new hobby – learn a new hobby or restart an old one, perhaps a new language or something creative? It’s important to do things that make you happy – make time for yourself and create habits for your hobbies.
  6. Learn a new skill – many used lockdown as a time to learn a new skill. Think about how you want to carry these on/add to your skills as lockdown eases – keep your energy for learning going!
  7. Work to your strengths – do something you’re good at to build self-confidence, then tackle a tougher task.
  8. Lose yourself in a good book – when you have a moment to spare –begin an inspiring autobiography of someone you admire. Or why not even think about writing your own?
  9. Enrich your diet – nuts, beans & seeds, fish rich in omega-3, fruit vegetables and dark green vegetables are all on the menu. Eating all the colours of the rainbow on your plate and trying new recipes. Don’t forget coffee and chocolate too; all in moderation to improve concentration levels.
  10. Work together on wellbeing – what programmes or workshops does your organisation currently run? Join with colleagues and friends to focus on your wellbeing collectively.

We are all familiar with all on this list for sure but our challenge to you (and ourselves) is to create your own wellbeing checklist and take the time to review what’s working/needs more attention each week. Why not start it off this mental health awareness week?

Think oxygen mask first!