Gemma L Killick: Co-ordinator – Apprenticeships

Describe your current job?
I support all of the apprentices across the business (currently over 300). I am their point of contact for anything they’re unsure about (apprenticeship but also non-apprenticeship related sometimes!) I co-deliver sign-up days for our cabin crew apprentices, and I ensure we are OFSTED compliant. I also support my manager in ensuring we have correct data to provide to the business, and I answer any apprenticeship queries.

What did you want to be when you grew up? Why?
I wanted to be a teacher as I loved helping children but after doing a work placement in a primary school when I was about 15 years old I changed my mind! … and I couldn’t afford to go to university.

What in your job has given you the greatest satisfaction or fulfilment?
I love being able to support and encourage all of our apprentices across all programmes and see them gain new knowledge and skills, and then pass their End Point Assessment. I have a lot of contact with our cabin crew apprentices due to us being the employer provider, and I get such satisfaction seeing them during their new hire training – giving them encouragement (or a hug when they’re having a stressful/low moment) and then seeing them get their wings! I feel like a proud mum at every wings ceremony and can’t stop smiling for them.

What women have inspired you?
My mum – because no matter what has happened in her life she always manages to see things in a positive way, and always finds time to support and encourage me, my siblings and her grandchildren. She is always very calm and doesn’t stress!

How do you think women’s equality has evolved and what needs to happen next?
I think we’ve come a long way in realising that women should be treated the same as men and given the same opportunities as men. I think we are slowly coming to the point where it’s not unusual to see senior female managers – in the past a senior woman manager was very rare and could be questioned. I really hope that as time moves on we won’t need to even talk about things like this – it will just become the norm.

How does Springboard help our women? Springboard helps our women become the best version of themselves. It enables them to realise what is important to them and what their values are. It really makes you stop and think, and realise that a woman might come across as strong and assertive but inwardly they can be just as self-conscious and unsure as you!

How has Springboard helped you?
I can’t explain how much Springboard has changed my life, for the better!  It has made me realise I can be assertive and confident – and I can still be a nice warm person! I always undervalued myself and wasn’t at all confident or assertive. I wouldn’t have dreamt of standing up and talking in front of a group – no matter how small. But since completing Springboard and with the most amazing support and encouragement from the facilitators (Jenny Breach and Kate O’Connor), and my manager (who is a man and couldn’t be more supportive of the programme and what it’s done for me) I have pushed myself out of my comfort zone by addressing groups of people on my own. And even when I experienced some challenging behaviour which knocked me down and made me question myself I didn’t let it keep me down. Recently I actually challenged myself to speak up in front of a group of new hire cabin crew apprentices plus a training support provider – I stood in front of 28 people and talked about apprenticeships, etc. I did this on 2 separate dates, which gave me the confidence to fully co-deliver another sign up day with my manager. And I have now completed a ‘train the trainer’ course where I created my own presentation and presented all by myself! I wish every female employee could be given the opportunity to complete Springboard to be able to realise their potential and worth.

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