Taxi insurance might not be the first career choice for most teenagers leaving school, but young apprentice Shana Ahmed wanted hands-on experience as she earned her qualifications and is now celebrating after passing with flying colours.
The 19-year-old customer service assistant from Liverpool joined Patons 18 months ago to begin her level two customer service apprenticeship and earned distinctions in all three sections.
Shana said: “I have really enjoyed it. I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I left school and felt university wasn’t the right place for me. I wanted to get some experience and earn some money as I progressed.”
Shana signed up to the government’s apprenticeship program and found Patons was looking for young people to take under its wing in her home city of Liverpool.
Shana said: “I had heard the phrase earn while you learn but hadn’t imagined myself at 18 working in taxi insurance so was intrigued to find out more.
“When I came for an interview, everyone was welcoming and there was a structure for what I would be doing so I was excited to start.
“I have really enjoyed it and it has been great experience.”
Shana’s day-to-day role involves helping drivers with queries about their taxi insurance, with everything from issuing certificates to updating policies.
She said: “I have had so much help and support from managers like Emma and Joanne and I really enjoy being able to help drivers. It’s a great feeling when you can solve any problems they might have.”
The apprenticeship route is one Shana would recommend to others. She said: “I would definitely recommend it, especially if you are younger and, like me, did not do as well in traditional education. Here, I have been able to develop skills and get qualifications in a professional environment and switching from day-to-day work to coursework or college work was much smoother for me and there’s always plenty of support.”
As well as her apprenticeship success, Shana has also become a valuable member of the customer service team.
Patons Insurance operations manager Joanne Noonan said: “Shana joined us in September, 2021, and this was her first job from school.
“She didn’t have any workplace experience when she started and she was a shy young girl who would speak so softly it was hard to hear her. Roll forward 18 months and Shana is now a confident young woman and an excellent customer service advisor who gets on well with everyone in the business she is an asset to our organisation.”
Taking on an apprentice can be a big step for a business and requires time and commitment to ensure the apprentice gets the right level of training and support they require to do their job well and to progress.
This was never an issue for Shana. Joanne said: “As Shana began to learn, she grew in front of my eyes. She worked hard, listened to the advice of those around her and found her own style of working.
“Her apprenticeship training was still suffering the hangover of Covid and a lot of her training was on-line with her tutor, but Shana just took this in her stride. She consistently ensured her assignments were handed in on time and to a high standard and she also utilised what she had learnt to her day job resulting in her pass with three distinctions. She is also due to start her insurance qualification Cert Cii in June.
“We could not be any prouder of Shana – she is quite honestly a super star and has her whole career ahead of her (hopefully with us ) and I believe she will go far.”
All information is correct at time of publication. Information provided within this article may have changed over time. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by John Patons Insurance Services or any of its employees.