Last year, for the first time, the 10 Citizens Advice services across Hertfordshire were able to offer apprenticeships funded by Hertfordshire County Council. These apprentices join one of the local Citizens Advice offices as a trainee and work towards a new Level 3 qualification in providing legal information and advice
Alice Loukaides works at the Citizens Advice in Stevenage, where she has recently completed an Advanced Apprenticeship in Legal Advice. With support and guidance from her colleagues, her confidence and skills have grown and she is now looking forward to a bright future within the legal advice sector. Here’s her story so far.
What did your role as an apprentice at Stevenage Citizens Advice entail? I started with some telephone training for the advice line, which allowed me to become more familiar with the role. After developing my advice work, I undertook more training to become a gateway assessor; this involved seeing clients face-to-face, rather than speaking on the telephone. Then, after my full training, I became a full advice generalist adviser, which meant I was able to carry out full advice appointments.
What does your current job entail? My current job role has developed slightly from the apprenticeship role. Although I’m no longer advising through the gateway service, I’m still advising clients on a daily basis. My current workload includes working with our Stevenage Borough Housing team, which assists Stevenage Borough Council tenants with their issues.
What was your personal highlight of the apprenticeship? My personal highlight was being able to work with so many knowledgeable colleagues and volunteers at Citizens Advice. They taught me a lot during my apprenticeship and supported me during my time as an adviser. I also have a very supportive management team which has assisted me throughout the whole process, which I really appreciated.
“During the last year, Alice has helped over 700 people singlehandedly. This represents nearly 10 per cent of our clients across the whole organisation; we have 80 volunteers and 30 staff, so this shows you how well she has done. Not only that, she has now secured a full time role in the organisation, which is a result of her hard work.”
Daniel Marshall CEO at Citizens Advice Stevenage