Apprenticeships – Security and Customer Service

By Aaron Illingworth
Security Apprentice at St Stephen’s, Hull

07 Mar 2017

When I was interviewed for the security officer apprenticeship at St Stephen’s, Hull, I always remember Eric Davies of the Centre team saying ‘that is the last time you will hear me say security officer’. He went on to explain, ‘you are customer service officers’.

Before starting my apprenticeship at St Stephen’s, I was struggling to find something that I really enjoyed doing. I was interested in sports, so I went to college to do that, but after about two years I decided it wasn’t the path I want to take.

After a short break away from education, I was talking to a family member who mentioned about the security industry. After a bit of research, I found the sector rather interesting and liked the way it has moved with the times. 

I gained qualifications in English and IT Level 2 at a learning and development centre, and then started studying for my Security Industry Authority licence at RDS Training. I was so fortunate because St Stephen’s visited RDS Training looking for an apprentice during the period that I was studying there. 

On the day of the interviews, I was really nervous and didn’t think I was going to be successful. There were about eight people sat in a big room. Eric Davies of Incentive FM at St Stephen’s came to see us all; he made us feel relaxed. He then talked about the role and training of a security officer, and that’s when he told us about being customer service officers. 

After the interview, I was so proud of myself. I knew I wanted to work at St Stephen’s but couldn’t get my hopes up because the competition was high. Then I received the phone call from Eric to inform me I’d been successful and he welcomed me to the team. That’s what I like most about working at St Stephen’s: we are a team and that goes for all departments. 

I’ve been working at St Stephen’s since November 2015 and feel that I am growing in confidence. I really enjoy the training side of the role; I’ve learned so much. When I make a mistake, the team get together and support me. Instead of saying ‘you did that all wrong’, we look at it from a different angle and say ‘how could we have done this better?’.

I listen to the advice of my colleague Adam Sagar. He’s already gone through the apprenticeship and is now in full-time employment at St Stephen’s, which is something that I want to achieve. I love working at St Stephen’s and see myself being here into the future. You never know, in a few years, it could be me going to RDS Training and selecting a new apprentice.

Glenn Wilson, Regional Director at Incentive FM: “Since our relationship with British Land and the team at St Stephen’s started back in 2012, it’s been a breath of fresh air working in partnership with a client who has the same values to drive forward staff engagement and wellbeing, but just as importantly the values placed on providing apprenticeship opportunities to the local community. As a result, over the last four years we have seen two team members fully qualify in their respective trades with another three currently well into their apprenticeships.”

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