Meet the Team: Gillian Bagshaw

Gillian Bagshaw joined the Knowledgepool team in 2011 as a Talent Coach. With an extensive financial services background including 15 years in a learning and development role at NatWest, Gillian initially worked on financial services apprenticeships and became the LIBF Tutor supporting Talent Coaches with all technical services qualifications, devising and delivering both AET and CET.

Gillian is now part of the Curriculum team, working to develop world class apprenticeship programmes within her specialist area of Financial Services as well as working collaboratively on other programmes.

What does a typical day look like for you?

There’s no such thing as a typical day – my role is really varied and involves working with different teams across the business. I’m currently working on new content for the Customer Service Apprenticeship, developing new ideas for the financial services programmes and working with the team on a new development programme. You’ll often find me working with the Quality team to discuss the impact of programmes or to gain insight into the End Point Assessment, or with Talent Coaches to get feedback on a workshop I’ve put together. I’m also currently supporting a group of Talent Coaches with their Certificate in Business Banking qualification. This makes sure they have everything they need to support learners.

What do you think makes an effective learner experience?

For me it’s all about building a relationship with learners so they can see me as a guide and mentor throughout their programme. Regular and effective communication (whether by email, phone or face-to-face) has an impact as you can talk with learners about what they can do now that they couldn’t before. Anything from their technical qualification through to maths or wellbeing, I always wanted to know what they were going to do with what they had gained.

As part of the Curriculum team I’m now working on programmes that will develop skills, knowledge and behaviours that learners will refer to throughout their careers. I want the experience they have from our programmes to whet their appetite for future learning.

What are some of the positive impacts you’ve seen from apprenticeships?

As a Talent Coach I watched my apprentices receive promotions within their company and gain confidence on both a personal and professional level, with one of my learners telling me his apprenticeship had made him a better underwriter. Increased confidence is definitely one of the biggest impacts, with learners completing leadership and management programmes telling me they felt more professional in what they do and Talent Coaches undertaking AET and CET gaining confidence in themselves to challenge and change things that don’t fit from a learner’s perspective.

I also got positive feedback from managers telling me how much they’d seen apprentices mature within their roles.

Why an apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships suit many different types of people. They may have chosen to start work rather than attend university but still want the opportunity to learn and develop. There’s also those who prefer a vocational approach and like the idea of putting what they’re learning straight into practice. It’s a good alternative to traditional classroom learning and exams, particularly if they found them challenging. Apprenticeships are also a great option for people seeking to know the ‘why’ behind what they do.

There are some real benefits for employers too. Being an apprentice gives someone a feeling of belonging to a company and that they’re really invested in and valued. This inevitably leads to better retention of skilled staff who are committed to their employer.