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From Apprentice to Administration Assistant

Name:        Rebecca Bownass

Position:    Administration Assistant

Site:           Briggs Port & Marine, Head Office, Burntisland

How did you come across the opportunity for an apprenticeship?

I came across the position on Indeed (www.indeed.co.uk). I was looking for an opportunity where I could see myself grow professionally and personally.

Why did you go down the apprenticeship route rather than conventional college/ university?

I had already attended college and found that doing an apprenticeship would be more practical and more tailored and useful to me as an individual.

Did you specifically want to work in the marine industry?

No; but only because it wasn’t an industry that I was familiar with.

Now that you’ve worked at Briggs for a while, do you enjoy working in the marine industry?

I do, it’s an interesting sector where a lot of factors come into play when working with the vessels; weather being the main one and timings for getting the work done too.

How long was your apprenticeship?

The first level was for one year, which I finished just before Christmas 2019 and I’m looking to get the ball rolling with the level 2. Level 2 takes a year as well, but there is the opportunity to finish it earlier.

You have now been taken on as full time Administration Assistant, do you feel there is greater opportunity for apprentices to get a job with their company once they qualify as opposed to college/ university graduates?

Personally, I would say yes, as that is how it has worked for me. Briggs Marine has helped through the process of getting a qualification and the experience that comes along with it. I feel some places require experience that people won’t necessarily have being fresh out of university or college.  

How long have you been in your current position?

For just over a year and a half.

What were your challenges as an apprentice when you first started?

Probably phoning up the crews on the vessels; in previous jobs if I had to ask anyone anything it was always face to face. Also, working in the marine environment was unknown to me.

How did you overcome these challenges?

By building up a rapport and working relationships with the crew, I started feeling more comfortable getting on the phone and familiarising myself with the industry, which at times can be quite complicated.

What do you do day to day?

It all depends on what needs to be done. It could be either raising invoices or sending out delivery notes, getting in contact with supplier to inform the crew when their stock is arriving. I also process paperwork that comes back from both the Kingdom of Fife and MV Cameron.

What do you enjoy most about working for Briggs Marine?

Everyone is incredibly helpful and approachable. You are also encouraged to visit the vessels, speak to the crew and find out how they operate. Normally, I just see the paperwork side of things so its good to see the work behind it.

Where do you see yourself in five years? Would you like to continue working at Briggs Marine, or would you like to explore different industries?

I would most definitely like to still be working for Briggs in 5 years’ time.

Would you recommend an apprenticeship at Briggs Marine and if so, why?

Yes, I would. Not only does it give you the experience you need for the job, but you also get a qualification at the same time and the people who work here make it very easy for someone who has just started..