In celebration of National Apprenticeship Week, we wanted to spotlight Suzanne's journey as an apprentice at Shaw Education Trust. Suzanne started her Payroll apprenticeship in September 2022 and is currently in revision mode, ready for the start of her upcoming exams in March! Over to you Suzanne:

I’m Suzanne, and I have been working for Shaw Education Trust since 2020. I am currently completing a Level 3 - Payroll Administrator Apprenticeship with Smart Training & Recruitment.

I am very grateful to be completing my Apprenticeship with Shaw Education Trust as my team around me provides me with the knowledge I need to excel in my apprenticeship. I am very grateful to the Payroll Manager, Rebecca, for being so understanding about the time I need to put aside for my apprenticeship, which has allowed me to comfortably progress in my apprenticeship journey while also carrying out day-to-day tasks efficiently.

I complete my training virtually with each session dedicated to a topic within payroll; these have included Tax, National Insurance, Statutory payments, and pensions, etc... My apprenticeship providers have great methods of getting the very best out of its apprentices. For example, My Tutor is currently delivering one-to-one revision sessions to help me prepare for my exams.

Before I started this Apprenticeship, I was working in HR, but I wanted a change. What drew me into this apprenticeship was the payroll processing side of my previous HR role and felt that I wanted to pursue this further. When the opportunity of a new role working in finance came along, I felt that this was the right path for me to go along but with no formal qualifications in payroll, we looked into courses and apprenticeships that would fit alongside the role.

One of my Apprenticeship highlights is from when I was processing payroll by myself for the first time (totally not stressful at all, honest!!). I felt really proud of myself; I couldn’t believe how much I’d actually learned on my journey to be able to process payroll from end to end, reporting to HMRC and pension companies, and most importantly, everyone in the Trust getting paid. It was a significant achievement that filled me with pride and reflected the journey that led me to that moment.

I have been so supported during my apprenticeship, and I want to use this opportunity to give a massive shoutout to my line manager, Rebecca. She is a great manager, always taking the time to explain not just how we do something but also why it’s done in that way to ensure that we comply with deadlines and legislation.

I want to stress that apprenticeships are for anyone. If you're like me and really want a change in your career, then choose an apprenticeship as it allows you to learn and at the same time provide you with hands-on experience.