Making Me Ready For Anything – Ethan’s Apprentice Journey

06 Mar 2019

When I first started at the AA – in fact the first day – I was completely unaware of the year that was going to happen. I just thought it would be a Monday to Friday 08:00 ’til 15:45 job, but I was wrong…

12 months on, I was trained on a range of calls, working a ‘6 on, 3 off’ shift pattern and trained to the level of a manager and able to sign off new members of staff as competent.

I started in November 2017 along with four other apprentices on the same induction course; Matthew, Sophie, Roberta and Kyle.

By the time we had finished our four-week induction the snow had started to fall nationwide, and we were straight on the phones taking inbound calls requesting assistance from both personal customers to the AA as well as bank customer groups – all while we were having to tell them about the hours-long delays due to the weather conditions.

Following a harsh winter from the end of November 2017 into the start of 2018, the business had an overwhelming request for assistance across the country with the cold weather and snowy conditions.

Training up 

As spring approached, and it started to warm slightly whilst the call volume started to die down, training was arranged for the remainder of the group so we could take on extra calls, which meant we would be taking FMS ( which stands for Fleet Insured, Manufacturers and SAGA) breakdown calls.

Another training course in May was again to take on extra calls – but this time it was for PFU (Pay For Use) customers/businesses that pay for the service they request to have.

The next lot of training that we were to receive as a group was BRAVO training – also known as police recovery. This is where police have found, stopped or are on scene with a vehicle or something that requires recovery following a range of different incidents; from uninsured drivers to things such as stolen vehicles or obstruction.

The calls will tend to come in from either control rooms for the police force or, with some forces, you’ll have the officers on scene with the vehicle or item that requires recovery calling in themselves to request our assistance.

We got this training ready for when we were to go onto shifts as we had all been given the good news of securing a full-time position on blue shift following the 6 on 3 off pattern (3 earlies, 3 late and 3 rest days) and we were to start the shift work in November as our apprenticeship contracts came to an end.

Keeping it going

Following the BRAVO training and the good news for us in securing the full-time positions, even more development opportunities opened up to us.

The first training to be arranged to help with personal development was for myself which is called T and C (Training and Competence), lasting five days. I was trained to an extent of a manager’s level, where I can sign off new members of staff as a competent agent along with understanding how calls are marked in quality and an agent’s journey to competence.

Once we had all moved to shift work, a further job opportunity opened for Roberta as she was successful in her application for a vacancy as a fleet advisor for business services. Following an interview, she was made aware she was successful and joined her new team not long after. She now works Monday to Friday office hours dealing with accounts for both fleet insured and pay for use customers and helping them with their enquiries.

That’s a different story…

Click here to learn more about apprenticeships with The AA.