Ali Thomas

Business Administration Apprentice at Cornwall Council

Ali Thomas used the Apprenticeship route to successfully restart her career in administration having taken a significant break from the occupation due to a serious health condition. She adapted to working at Cornwall Council very quickly and it became apparent that she had strong communication and relationship building skills, meeting challenges head on.

From her first week at the Council Ali, aged 48, was fully immersed in her role, from minuting important meetings to organising and supporting events for up to 130 people. Ali has gone above and beyond her role, using her initiative to organise social and team building events, including taking the lead to plan a volunteering day for a local charity.

Ali, third from left, receiving her highly commended certificate at the 2019 Cornwall Apprenticeship Awards.

Ali, third from left, receiving her highly commended certificate at the 2019 Cornwall Apprenticeship Awards.

Initially, Ali was not confident with her writing skills, but through taught sessions at College she rebuilt her confidence in this area and has now completely transformed the Council’s staff newsletter. Managers report that the publication has gone from struggling for content to being thoroughly engaging and the team now find that there is often too much content to choose from.

Ali has used this Apprenticeship to change her career direction, consolidate and top-up her qualifications and experience and will use this as a firm foundation for her future progression.

Ali commented: “I was worried that I was too old or too out of touch with the world of administration, but from the moment I contacted the College they gave me nothing but encouragement. I have had one of the best years of my life working for the Business and Incident Team within the Environment Service with Cornwall Council. I feel valued and have learnt so much, both on the job and through my college taught sessions. Not only has my confidence come back but it has grown to the levels I had when I was much younger.”

I feel valued and have learnt so much, both on the job and through my college taught sessions.

Ali Thomas, Business Administration Apprentice at Cornwall Council

Ali praised Tammy McDermott, the Apprenticeship Recruitment Coordinator at Truro and Penwith College, for her help and support throughout the whole process, adding: “Tammy didn’t judge me, she believed in me when I didn’t. I wouldn’t be where I am if it wasn’t for Tammy’s kindness and dedication.”

Ali is a fantastic example, proving that Apprenticeships are for anyone. Ali successfully completed her Level 2 Apprenticeship with Truro and Penwith College and Cornwall Council and has now gone on to begin studying for her Level 3 qualification, as well as taking on the role of mentoring new Apprentices within the team.

“What Ali has achieved during her time at Cornwall Council is amazing,” added Ali’s manager Max Power. “The impact she has had on the organisation as a Level 2 Business Administration Apprentice is incredible.”

The impact Ali has had on the organisation as a Level 2 Business Administration Apprentice is incredible.

Max Power, Senior Strategic Business Officer at Cornwall Council

Ali’s managers were so impressed with her hard work and dedication to the organisation that they nominated her for the Business Apprentice of the Year award at the 2019 Cornwall Apprenticeship Awards, and she was awarded a highly commended certificate for her achievements.