EEH is committed to creating employment and training opportunities for our residents. This year we launched an apprenticeship programme with our repairs contractor Morgan Sindall. Ansar Abdin who is 24 and lives on the British Estate in Mile End was recently successful in securing a 13-month apprenticeship role in the repairs team. Here he shares his experience and top tips for being interview ready.
How did you find about the apprenticeship initiative?
In the summer I went to a Job Fair and I came across Morgan Sindall. They encouraged me to apply for an admin apprentice role in their repairs team. They explained that because I was an EastEndHomes resident I stood a good chance in getting short-listed. I’d previously done some work experience in admin, then I worked in customer services and youth services. I always wanted to go back into administration so I went for it.
What happened next?
I sent my CV over and in two weeks I received a call for an interview and received the job spec for the businesses admin apprentice role.
How did the interview go?
It went a lot better than I expected. Maria White my now manager interviewed me. She was very friendly, putting me at ease and I was able to use my past experience to explain how I could do the role. I was confident in being myself. It was more like a conversation and I found it easy to speak to her. After the interview, I felt relieved and also happy as I felt it went really well. I got a call a week after confirming I had the job.
My learning and advice to anyone going through an interview is don’t be afraid to be yourself. You can’t go wrong with being yourself.
So, tell us a little bit more about your job your role
I work with the repairs planning team. This involves looking at the day ahead and planning engineers' jobs for that day. I take phone-calls, speak to residents and EastendHomes' staff. We also manage the jobs to make sure we are flexible. For example, on a Monday we’re more likely to receive more urgent repairs so we need make sure we can adapt and have more availability.
What do you like most about your job?
There are a few things. My colleagues have made it really easy for me to fit in. They are very welcoming and help me with anything I need. I’m learning every day about different situations. For example, how to deal with a diverse group of people from different background. Everything is new and I’m learning to adapt to change. I’m also building my practical business skills like learning how to write emails professionally. As a resident myself, helping other resident is a good experience.
Would you recommend this apprenticeship scheme to others?
Definitely. It’s helped me to be more professional and it’s definitely helped my relationships outside of work.
I’d also encourage other local companies to run apprenticeships for local people. I think companies should go into youth clubs and schools to share the story of apprenticeships. I don’t think local people really know that much about apprenticeships.
Your apprenticeship is for 13 months - where do you see yourself going after this time?
I’d want to see myself progress in Morgan Sindall. Right now, I work in one department, I’d like to get into management, building myself along the way. By the time I’m 40 I’d like to see myself in a management role.
Maria White, Ansar’s manager commented:
“Ansar is an asset to our team. He is always learning, has great rapport with residents and staff and has built his skills quickly. We’d love to hear from any other local residents interested in joining our apprenticeship scheme.”