Featured Apprentice Story
Lloyds Banking Group
As a Senior Moments of Truth Bereavement Consultant, Toni Pask's role is to take incoming calls from customers and families, regarding deaths and managing their estate. She takes calls via an interpreter, as well as power of attorney calls, dealing with all aspects of registering documents with the bank and assisting ongoing matters.
Toni's role is on apprenticeship is to complete monthly and weekly tasks and assignments set by their assessor, and to gather evidence of cases where specific actions or events occurred. To attend meetings and reviews, noting details of interactions, such as recorded discussions detailing their daily role. To complete a Welsh language course, undergoing assessments after completing each unit. To attend 2 exams at the end of an 18-month period to complete the apprenticeship programme.
As soon as Toni's children’s school closed in March 2020, she immediately had to start working from home. Toni was sent home with a laptop and equipment and had to juggle the challenges of technical difficulties from their laptop, whilst trying to service the customers and work effectively, as well as managing her children and their education.
The apprenticeship was put on hold for a brief period in 2020 (April-Jul) until it was agreed that the business could allow Toni and peers to resume work towards the apprenticeship programme. During this period, Toni became increasingly unwell. A close family member passed away, and her personal life and the simplest daily activities became extremely hard.
In July 2020 after several tests and doctors’ visits, Toni was diagnosed with a large cyst on her ovary and the auto immune disease, Endometriosis. She underwent surgery in October 2020, and was unable to return to work until January 2021. When Toni returned to work in January 2021, she had a new team and manager, and decided she would not let her previous year affect her work performance going forward. It took her a while to re-train in certain aspects of her job and catch up with the business in general.
The Pandemic affected the level of work produced in so many ways it really was a challenge for her. From not having the right access or equipment especially working from home, to managing her home life. With the ‘not knowing’ when another lockdown may happen or what government guidelines/rules may change, it not only impacted ways of working, it affected her wellbeing and tested her mental strength. However, once adapted to homeworking, Toni was able to stay focused on the task set and she managed to complete her apprenticeship by June 2021, completing her exams in July 2021! 11 months ahead of schedule and what was expected.
After such a challenging time in their life in 2020/2021, Toni proved to herself and her employer, that nothing could ever get in the way of achieving something new, and if she can undergo all of the above, then nothing can stop her. Going forward, Toni would love to apply for further qualifications. She thoroughly enjoyed the apprenticeship even through the strangest times. Upon reflection, Toni sees the whole experience as a piece of a much bigger puzzle in their career. She will use the skills she has learnt, and the qualifications gained to further her career within the banking industry.