Case Study: Shareen Awan (Apprentice Business Administrator)

Shareen Awan Case Study

Heathrow Shared Apprenticeship Scheme: Atkins

It would be fair to say, that 2020 was a year of acute change, challenge and ups and downs for all of us. We have had to adapt to new ways of working and indeed, new ways of living. But, how does this play out, in real life, for those that are at the start of a new career?

Our case study series will shine a spotlight on some of the Apprentices currently working through their placements on the Heathrow Shared Apprenticeship Scheme. The Scheme brings together Heathrow’s major construction supply chain partners, and offers Apprentices the opportunity to work across several disciplines on a range of exciting Heathrow projects and gain nationally recognised qualifications at the same time.

Shareen Awan, Business Administration Apprentice, Hosted by Atkins

Meet Shareen

Shareen was unfortunately faced with a situation where an original Apprenticeship placement had to end prematurely. Outside of the Heathrow Shared Apprenticeship Scheme, this could have meant an early end to a career that had not yet begun. At the very least it would have been back to the drawing board. Luckily for Shareen, the Shared Apprenticeship Scheme is fully equipped to deal with situations such as this one, by allowing for the infrastructure needed for an Apprentice to change host employers part way through their placement. The Heathrow Employment and Skills Academy, alongside its apprenticeship delivery partner K10 as a whole, have always seen this as a key requirement of our Apprentices’ placements. We are fully committed to our cause, and we relish the opportunity to think outside of the box.

Shareen’s host employer: Atkins

Thanks to the partnerships in place in the Shared Apprenticeship Scheme, we were able to secure a placement for Shareen with Atkins, a world-leading design, engineering and project-management consultancy. In a world of rapid innovation and rising challenges, Atkins are reinventing design and engineering, and reimagine the built environment to make it sustainable and better for all.

Shareen’s Apprenticeship

Shareen started her apprenticeship based at the Compass Centre, Heathrow
Airport, allowing her to keep her finger on the pulse of Atkins’ day-to-day activity. She tells us that the work she has been able to do for Atkins continually keeps her on her toes. “No day is the same”. Specifically, she is responsible for work on on-boarding and off-boarding new staff, contract coordination, completing cost models and purchase orders and more.

At the same time, Shareen is also attending Westminster Kingsway College,
where she is working on the theoretical parts of her qualification. She enjoys meeting with her assessor regularly, but does warn future Apprentices to “stay on top of your college work, once you let it slip, it can be difficult to get back on track.” However, the challenge to her career didn’t end there. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the landscape in which she was working changed drastically overnight. However, Shareen has excelled in the transition and thanks to the support offered to her by Atkins, has faced no adverse effect on her placement. This is a true example of our Shared Apprenticeship Scheme, in action. We are here to adapt and overcome challenges thrown at us all, together with our partners.

“[Because of COVID-19], the majority of our projects were paused or terminated. But because of the nature of the work Shareen is undertaking, her workload did not reduce, it increased. She has managed to stay completely in control. Undoubtfully, Shareen has not only managed the workload, she has exceeded expectations and did all that with a smile on her face.” – Karolina Taflaj, Head of Contracts, Commercial & Frameworks, Atkins

What’s next for Shareen

Simply put, Shareen, like the rest of us, is looking forward to a little bit of normality throughout the rest of her apprenticeship. She does, however, value the opportunity to show what she’s really made of in such unusual
circumstances.

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