Continued investment in staff training and professional development is something that Flowline Specialists believes is crucial to building and maintaining a skilled, talented and capable workforce. From supporting staff through modern apprenticeships and SVQs, to providing one-day training courses that enhance knowledge and expand competencies, we are committed to offering opportunities for all our employees to grow and develop their skillsets.
To coincide with Scottish Apprenticeship Week – Monday, 02 until Friday, 06 March – we caught up with our training, competence and travel manager Laura Michie, who is six months into a four-year BA (Hons) Business Management graduate apprenticeship.
A graduate apprenticeship provides an opportunity for individuals to gain a degree qualification whilst in full-time employment, with the course making extensive use of work-based learning. By combining theoretical learning with the practical experience of each student’s workplace, it allows the knowledge that they gain to be beneficial and relatable to both the employee and employer. It can also support the long-term development needs of the company and the student.
Laura, who joined Flowline Specialists in November 2013 and previously worked as a business travel consultant, oversees staff training requirements and manages all of the national and international travel needs for our operators. It is a varied role that keeps her busy and since September 2019 she has been combining that role with studying for a degree.
Her course is delivered online by The Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, with Laura attending lectures at university four times a year. Throughout her studies she has full access to the university’s library, labs and support services at its campus.
Like many people returning to studying after many years, Laura admits that getting back into study mode hasn’t been easy. “Except for a few one-day courses, this is the first time since college that I’ve had to get back into the studying mindset,” explained Laura. “Writing the first report was hard, but I’m getting the hang of it now. Juggling study and full-time work is difficult at times, but sticking to a schedule is keeping me on track, so far.”
Laura Michie, training, competence and travel manager
Students complete four modules each year, which cover a broad range of business functions. During this academic year Laura has so far completed modules on the business environment in which organisations work and managing people at work, with accounting and finance the next to be tackled.
Laura said: “The course has allowed me to learn a lot more about the business, for example the external factors that can affect it which I’d never have thought about. I’ve enjoyed all aspects of the course so far, but there is a long way to go.”
On the road ahead, future areas of study will include sales and marketing, procurement and supply chain management, risk and compliance management, data analysis and the principles of cyber security.
As Laura continues her studies, her colleagues and the company will provide whatever level of support she requires to ensure she successfully juggles, work, life and studying.
To discover more about apprenticeships, visit www.apprenticeships.scot.