08.02.22

Business School Apprentice of the Year

Categories: Salford Business School

A senior manager from Transport for Greater Manchester has won the Business School apprentice of the year award as part of National Apprenticeship Week 2022.

The theme for this year’s National Apprenticeship Week – which runs from February 7-13 – is ‘Build the Future’, focussing on how apprenticeships can benefit individuals, organisations and local communities. 

Lynda Stefek, who completed an MSc in Leadership and Management, impressed with her commitment and hard work. She is now Senior Manager for Air Quality and Environment at TfGM.

Lynda, who has 35 years working experience behind her, said: “I decided to do the course for career advancement really. The senior roles I wanted all required some extra experience that I just didn’t have, and that the course could offer me.

“It was the opportunity to work across departments in areas that I wasn’t familiar with that was so appealing.”

Doing an apprenticeship as part of a degree can be a great way to boost your career, or even move into a new field entirely.

At the University of Salford Business School apprenticeships are available through many degree programmes and courses link directly to the practical skills provided by an apprenticeship, leaving you in a great position to go for the new role or career change.

Within six months of starting her course Lynda had been offered a promotion and a role that has started the advancement of her career.

She said: “It has been extremely hard work. You need to have commitment and invest a lot of time into it but the rewards are there. It’s wonderful to get the recognition for your hard work. There is no short cut other than hard work.

“The skills I’ve learnt on the course will help me tackle the higher-level role. It gave me the opportunity to work across different departments, with different senior staff and it really built my confidence. TfGM have been supportive all the way through and are benefitting from their investment in me and the new skills I have learnt.

“It is never too late to take that chance to develop your career. The two key things I’d say for anyone thinking of doing a similar course are that it takes dedication to complete it you need to be focussed and disciplined to put the time in and it helps if to have a good working relationship with your tutor.

“I really am a more rounded person from a senior management perspective, I have more meaningful conversations within the workplace and have a greater level of confidence within my role and the organisation.

Lynda’s dissertation is being used by the Change Team at TfGM and has contributed to an associated action plan for the Directorate. A direct benefit for the business.

Elizabeth Greenhalgh, Lynda’s tutor, said: “Whilst on programme Lynda has developed a range of skills including her leadership and communication skills, which has given her the confidence to apply for more senior roles in her field of expertise. Lynda was a very dedicated student and has used what she has learnt on the programme in the work place, for example developing a new people development plan."

Paul Ward, Director of apprenticeships at the University of Salford, explained the benefits of apprenticeships:  "As well as boosting productivity, apprenticeships can also help companies develop their workforce,” he said.

“Recent industry research suggests that 77% of employers found that taking on apprentices helped to make their organisations more competitive.

“With many companies facing critical skills shortages, apprenticeships provide employers with a great opportunity to invest in the recruitment of new talent into the business. Through recruiting and training apprentices, employers can develop people in a way that promotes the specific skills required by industry.”

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