Achievement Training apprentice, Radhaa Ramdonee Bevan, has been shortlisted for the Black Asian Minority Ethnic Apprenticeship Awards. Radhaa is currently a Level 3 Business and Administration Apprentice at Devonport High School for Boys in Plymouth, Devon with 2 months remaining. Here is Radhaa’s inspirational story…
‘Originally from Mauritius, a small tropical island in the Indian Ocean, I moved to the UK two years ago when I married my pen friend of three years. I was raised by my single mother during a time when having divorced parents was considered a shame to society. From a young age I learned to be courageous and accepted that being different was powerful. I love living in the UK’s ocean city, with the opportunity to travel around the beautiful South West and discover so many sights. Nonetheless it’s hard to settle in a new country, away family and plan my future. My first job here was a Sales Advisor in H.Samuel’s Jewellery Store. I enjoyed interacting with customers, offering help and making sales. But I knew education and passion mattered too and working in retail was not for me.
University was not an option either due to financial restrictions. My husband mentioned apprenticeships, I had never considered an Apprenticeship; to me it sounded more like a vocational training for skilled workers like Electricians. Following my research, I chose a Business Administration course. A decision influenced by my mum, who was a receptionist at the airport. As a child I loved the way she dressed for work and I would draw the two of us in our suits and handbags at the office. Fast-forward, to the day of my interview at Devonport High School for Boys (DHSB); I was mesmerised by the beauty of the school’s architecture and rich history (ex-naval hospital and listed site). I knew this was the place to begin my career. Being an apprentice is a unique experience that has been especially beneficial to me, a newly settled person in the UK, to feel integrated within British society.
Being nervous about my future and education, my apprenticeship has helped me gain a better understanding of my aspirations. An educational setting is very similar to a business, offering support to everyone in the community, generating income and providing the best service. At DHSB, our motto is: ‘Everyone succeeds.’ This truly takes into consideration every student and staff member, developing everyone’s potential.
As with every experience in life, nothing is perfect. During my apprenticeship, I had some negative experiences with my first mentor. She did not respect me as a fellow employee; setting out to disregard my hard work and make me feel like a failure. I have included this in my nomination to portray a realistic experience as a young individual undertaking training. Unfortunately, you won’t always be respected or acknowledged for your efforts and determination. I of course approached this with poise, strength and professionalism. I held my head high throughout, despite how difficult this was to endure. Luckily, my college Achievement Training helped me and I received guidance and support. My workplace took action to resolve the situation and assigned me a new mentor. Not all people in a workplace will be judgemental and unwelcoming but it’s an inevitable occurrence in life, as bullies do exist.
Even though I am a Business and Administration Apprentice I have experienced various roles such as being a TA, supporting new YR 7 during their first week, supervising break times, organising our annual Awards day and even attending a Governor’s board meeting with individuals from all backgrounds to discuss arrangements for the big 125th anniversary celebrations for the school. Everyone at DHSB has been so welcoming, kind and quick to help. It is a pleasure to work here, there is a great sense of belonging, and we are like one big family.’