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Nicola Hudson, 29, from Stoke-on-Trent, has been on an incredible journey with Achieve Training. As we celebrate 40 years in business, Nicola's journey has gone full circle, from first starting as an apprentice, to excelling and becoming a Wellbeing Development Manager in her role today - 10 years after she first joined the company. This is her story in her own words.

Career Journey

Going back to 2012, Nic started her successful career journey on the pre-apprenticeship officeworks programme (now called Business Skills) for 6 weeks and then eventually secured a Business Administration apprenticeship at an estate agent in Hanley. During her time with Achieve Training, she has held various roles and is now in a management position looking after the Personal and Wellbeing development team. This department supports our learners on the study programme and helps them achieve their career aspirations.

Becoming an apprentice

After 12 months at college, Nic realised it wasn’t for her and wanted to take a different career route. 10 years ago she saw an advert in the Sentinel for the Officeworks programme which was being launched and she jumped at the chance to apply.  Having completed the 6-week programme, she had the knowledge and skills ready to start as an apprentice. Her first role was as a Business Administration apprentice at Daniel & Hulme Estate Agents in Hanley.

After successfully completing her Business Administration apprenticeship, Nic came back to Achieve Training as an Administrator, based at our old training centre in Leek. She then moved into the Learner Services team where she carried out reviews and made sure the young learners were kept on track with their programmes. An opportunity then came up to work in the officeworks team (where it all started) and Nic began to do more teaching and helping to develop young learners on their career paths. After this success, Nic moved further into a management role within the business. 

Progression into management

Nic says: “I spend a short time on the learner support side and then progressed on to become the programme manager, I was responsible for an additional programme that we started running and I was overseeing the teachers and developing of this and then in Jan 2021 I was appointed as the Wellbeing Personal Development Manager to focus on the wellbeing and personal development of all our study programme learners." 

While she was completing her apprenticeship back in 2012, her tutor, Julie Hallam, who is still a tutor today at Achieve Training knew that Nic would become a success. She says: "Nic was part of the first group that came on to the OfficeWorks Study Programme. She was the quiet one in the group but always attentive and made sure she got her work done. She was the one who would sit back and let the others in the group make the decisions or take the lead, how that has changed!".

Julie continues: "To be honest I think it was when Nic went on to her first apprenticeship that she really stood out. I followed her as the tutor/assessor. Although the placement was not exactly what Nic saw as her career, she used the time to ensure that she gained the knowledge and skills she was likely to need to move onto other things."


Talking about her time at school, Nic says “I was always naturally very active, and I thought I would have gone into something sporty as this has always been my interest. I’m a practical person and being at college I realised this didn’t suit me and wanted to be in a workplace environment. I took the opportunity with PM Training at the time, and not knowing where I would end up, but the opportunities were there and I continued to push myself. Every chance I got to do a qualification to better and to improve myself and my career I took it. I have done various apprenticeships with Achieve Training, and they have supported me and put me through leadership programmes to get me where I am today."

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Working for Achieve Training

After leaving school, Nic never thought she would be working in education, but Achieve Training has supported her to achieve her career aspirations, she says: "It’s a brilliant organisation to work for, its flexible and has excellent opportunities to start you on your career journey. I have never been unhappy, I enjoy my role and the team I manage and I know if there is anything I wanted to do the company would support me.”

Nic states that working for Achieve Training “We put people first and our ethos is to help young people to achieve their career aspirations. All the staff here will go the extra mile to ensure the best possible outcomes for our learners." 

Advice for apprentices today

“The advice I would give young learners today is whatever you want to do, just make sure you are doing it at the best of your ability, whether that is filing some paperwork away or meeting and greeting a customer, just ensure you are giving your all and put your heart into it and people will recognise this and will be willing to give you the opportunities, stay true to yourself and find a company that values you and everything you have to offer."

If you have been inspired by Nicola's story and want to follow in her footsteps to a successful career in Business Administration, you can explore and apply for our pre-apprenticeship programme here.

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