National Apprenticeship Week: Kacper Suwalski, Technical Advisor
For this year’s National Apprenticeship Week, we’ve been speaking to our existing dwellings technical advisor, Kacper Suwalski, about his studies and work.
Nineteen-year-old Kacper lives in Coventry and has been an apprentice for Elmhurst Energy for almost six months. We asked Kacper about his experience, his hopes for the future and what advice he would give to those looking for or considering an apprenticeship.
What apprenticeship are you doing?
“I’m studying Customer Service Level 3 through Intec Business Colleges in Rugby. All of my training is being delivered virtually and involves logging into one lesson a month, where I’m assigned my tasks for the coming weeks. I’m required to spend 37 hours a month on my college studies during work time, which all goes towards my final portfolio.”
When did it start and when is it due to finish?
“I started my apprenticeship in September 2022, and I have up to two years to complete it, but I’m aiming to finish by the end of February next year.”
Why did you choose an apprenticeship?
“I found out about apprenticeships from a family member. They appealed to me because I’ve always liked being hands-on and busy. Being able to learn and work at the same time works well for me. My family have always said that as long as I’m happy and sensible, they will support me, and they do.
When I finished my A Levels (Polish, IT and media), I originally wanted to do an IT apprenticeship but didn’t realise I needed to have experience in very specific subjects. That’s when I decided I wanted to work in an industry where I didn’t necessarily have to initially meet certain experience-related criteria. I was keen to try something new and see if I liked it.
I’ve always been interested in customer service and speaking to people. Energy is such an interesting area too. I like building up my knowledge, and there’s a lot of information to learn. The week before I started my apprenticeship, I attended a week-long training course, which involved producing a portfolio about housing and Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs).”
What is it like to do your apprenticeship?
“It’s really enjoyable because it’s so hands-on, and I get involved in all sorts of different things. I’ve taken on a project that involves working with software and our IT and business teams and analysing data from a performance perspective.
My work also involves quality assurance – checking the EPCs that are created by our assessors, as well as our Continued Professional Development (CPD) programmes. For the EPCs, we are legally required to make sure at least 2% of the certificates we produce have undergone a quality assurance audit.”
What do you learn when you are at college?
“I’m learning about customer service and dealing with customers on the phone. This includes dealing with difficult customers and individuals who aren’t clear on who they need to speak to or what type of support they need. Our studies also cover handling general enquiries and everyday scenarios too.”
What is the best part of doing an apprenticeship?
“The fact I’m always busy – I have my hands full with work and my studies.”
What do you hope to do when you’ve completed your apprenticeship?
“I want to study a Level 4 apprenticeship and continue to work my way through the levels until I feel like I’ve learned enough and gained as much experience as possible.”
What advice would you give to someone else looking to do your apprenticeship or an apprenticeship in general?
“Fully explore all of the options. Ask your teachers for advice and make sure you study the subjects that will enable you to follow your chosen career path.”