My Modern Apprenticeship with Business Stream

01 February 2024 Reading time: 5 minutes

Name: Rian GarrickRian Garrick Business Stream
Location: Livingston
Age: 24
Role: Resolutions Case Handler
Team: Resolutions

How did you get involved in a modern apprenticeship (MA) with Business Stream? 

A friend of mine had recommended Business Stream to me after he joined the year before. He told me that it was a great place to work with a supportive environment and lots of opportunities to learn. Plus, Business Stream had just opened their Modern Apprenticeship (MA) programme to applications so I thought ‘why not’ and sent my CV and a covering letter in. Soon after, I was asked to attend an interview and within a few days, I was delighted to be offered a place.

How long did you carry out your modern apprenticeship for and what role were you in?

My one-year apprenticeship involved me working in Business Stream’s Customer Service team as a Customer Service Adviser. Within my role, I was managing a range of customer queries over the phone and by email, from managing payments to updating customers’ details. I enjoyed it so much that I completed my apprenticeship in nine months and stayed with the Customer Service team for some time afterwards.

How was your progression measured throughout the apprenticeship?

Throughout the MA programme, I was asked to complete skill-building ‘modules’ and in order to pass these, I had to provide suitable evidence of completion to our MA Assessor. The experience I was gaining from speaking to customers and helping with their queries enabled me to build my skill-building evidence. Part of the assessment included answering a series of questions on various skill-related topics for example, ‘Tell me about a time during your apprenticeship where you’ve turned a negative experience into a positive one?’.

What does an average day as a Business Stream Modern Apprentice look like?

Every day as an MA at Business Stream is different and also depends on the team you carry out your apprenticeship in – whether that’s Customer Service, Metering and Billing or Learning and Development. An average day for me involved supporting customers with their queries over the phone, while gathering my knowledge and skill-building evidence throughout my week. On some days, if required, I would also be asked to help other teams like our Onboarding team if they needed an extra pair of hands on a busy day. I enjoyed this as it helped me to broaden my skills and experience outside of my own team.

What did you enjoy most about working with Business Stream as an MA?

I loved learning about the different areas of the business and each team’s role. Being able to get things right for our customers was satisfying and, learning on the job and presenting what I had then learned to the MA Assessor made the programme really enjoyable. What I like about Business Stream is that I’m not just a number, I have responsibility and I’m part of a great team that works together.

What skills did you learn while carrying out your apprenticeship?

I have learned a lot of people skills like how to actively listen and to be patient, and I’ve developed skills in how to speak and write professionally.

On completion of your Modern Apprenticeship, what did you do next?

About a year and a half after joining Business Stream, and having already completed my apprenticeship, I was asked to help support the Customer Resolutions team for a short period. I really liked managing queries which were slightly different to what I was used to, so I was delighted to be offered a permanent role as Customer Resolutions Handler soon after. I accepted and I’ve been in my role for two and a half years now.

Can you tell us a little bit more about your current role?

In my current role, I manage any customers who have had a negative experience with us by aiming to resolve their initial query and offer an understanding and proactive approach. I also share any feedback and learnings with the team about where we may have got it wrong, so we can ensure the same issue doesn’t happen again - to ultimately improve the service we provide to our customers. I really like the problem-solving aspect of my role, especially when I can fix an issue for the customer. We have a great team, I have a great manager and after five years in the business, I feel I am still learning.

How do you feel your Modern Apprenticeship helped you progress into your current role?

I learned a great deal about the business and what each team does. This has helped me to network with different people around Business Stream and build positive working relationships. I have made friends for life here and gained experience I will use throughout my career. I feel I have grown professionally and also matured as a person; and I am proud to work for a business that has good ethics - our Making a Positive Difference vision has enabled me to get involved in various volunteering days within the local community and for the environment.

Would you recommend a Modern Apprenticeship at Business Stream to others?

I would 100% recommend a modern apprenticeship at Business Stream. It’s a great opportunity to learn and get into the world of work in a busy, corporate office where no day is the same. The application process was easy and from the beginning, I have felt supported in my journey with my achievements being recognised too. The MA programme provides a qualification and work experience while earning a salary. It’s a fantastic start for any young person looking for work.

What are your hopes for the future?

I definitely aspire to progress to a more senior position and my manager is very supportive of getting me closer to that each year. I’m looking forward to what’s next!