Apprentice to Manager: A Journey of Growth and Leadership
Meri’s journey with Thames Valley Police (TVP) spans nearly four years, marked by diverse experiences and a commitment to personal and professional development. Joining as a 999/101 Call Handler apprentice during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Meri’s path took an unexpected yet rewarding turn as she took advantage of development opportunities to aid her promotion from an apprentice to the Operations Manager of Kidlington Contact Management Centre (CMC).
How long have you been with Thames Valley Police, and how has your journey unfolded?
I’ve been with TVP for nearly four years now. I started as a 999/101 Call Handler apprentice just as COVID-19 was entering our lives. Initially bound for the Control Room in Abingdon, I completed my tutoring and mentoring at Kidlington CMC due to pandemic restrictions. I felt settled there and decided to make the transfer permanent. After about 18 months, I joined the Talent Pool Development Programme, collaborating with Hampshire Constabulary on the Contact Management Change Portfolio. This broadened my policing knowledge and led me to apply for an Operations Manager position.
What inspired you to pursue an apprenticeship with TVP?
After leaving the British Army, I worked in neurological rehabilitation, which was physically demanding. When looking for a new role that still involved helping people but with less physical stress, I saw the apprenticeship as an opportunity to explore a new career path.
Can you share a memorable moment or achievement during your apprenticeship?
Achieving a Distinction at the end of my apprenticeship was definitely a memorable moment. It was the result I had been aiming for and had worked hard to achieve.
How has your mentor or support system contributed to your professional growth?
The support I received from my line managers at Kidlington CMC and the Apprenticeship team was excellent. Completing the apprenticeship gave me confidence in my abilities, and I received constructive feedback throughout on how to develop further.
What advice would you give to someone considering an apprenticeship at TVP?
If you’re keen to gain an accredited qualification and want to help people, TVP is a great place to start. Don’t be daunted by the work involved; even if you’ve been out of a learning environment for a while, you’ll be well-supported by the apprenticeship team, managers, and peers. Embrace the opportunity for growth—it’s worth it.
If you’re interested in finding out more about becoming a 999/101 Call Handler, visit our Contact Management page.