New apprentices at Hammersmith & Fulham Council are taking the first step into their careers as they work to improve the local area.
Ladan Mohamud is splitting an apprenticeship in the field of compliance between two departments, licensing and trading standards.
The 28-year-old from Fulham was keen to do it ‘because I knew H&F was the place for me, as they place great value on equality and diversity’.
She also knew that an apprenticeship would be a gateway into a career she’d enjoy. Trading Standards is a department that really appeals to the ‘detective’ in Ladan, and it’s an area of work from which she gains great satisfaction.
Working from home has challenges as she shares with seven family members. “But,” she says, “I just go to my room and close the door! I’ve got a big family, so sometimes it gets a bit much, but it’s manageable!”
Before starting her apprenticeship, she worked as a foreign language teacher in a school in Croydon. At the council, she’s still working directly with people as she’s processing applications for various licences for businesses.
She usually works 8am-4pm. “I’m more of an early starter and early finisher, but if I have meetings that go on late, I’ll start later that day. It’s flexible in that sense, and the council is extremely supportive and takes my personal circumstances into consideration. It’s one of the perks of working for the council.”
The job satisfaction for Ladan comes when she is communicating with residents and gets feedback that they are happy with her service. “I wanted to get involved in the community,” she said. “A lot of people don’t speak English as a first language in H&F, so when I can help them and they feel good, it makes me feel good.”
Ladan, who has always lived in H&F, spotted the chance to become an apprentice after strolling past a careers fair at Fulham Library. She popped in to have a chat to someone from the careers service.
“Working in H&F has been very positive,” she said. “The work culture is healthy, and the staff are supportive of educational development, so I look forward to my days at work.
“On my first day working I was carrying out visits with a colleague, and training on compliance. I was taking on important duties very early, which contributed to the 20 per cent of the job learning which is required as part of the course.
“I also learnt about effective regulation, what’s expected when conducting investigations and project planning.”
Ladan has succeeded in juggling work and learning, thanks to a strong organisational streak, although she admits to ‘a little hiccup with my time management skills once the pandemic started’.
Don’t give up
Perhaps the biggest challenge was the interview stage. Though initially unsuccessful, she was added to a ‘talent pool’ and then got a call inviting her to be interviewed for the regulatory compliance role. “One thing I’ve learnt is to not give up,” she said.
She urges family and friends to follow her route. “I keep telling them not to look down on apprenticeship as they offer educational and career progression like nothing else, and H&F has an amazing work culture.”