Martin’s Apprenticeship Journey

Just as a little introduction to myself, my name is Martin Day, and I was an E-commerce Apprentice at Fred. Olsen Travel for a year. I now have a full-time job in the e-commerce department after completing my course and learning the skills needed for the role. When I started, I had little to no knowledge of the travel industry and had been working a part-time job since I was 16, whilst completing my qualification in a Level 3 BTEC Diploma in IT. I knew that this role wouldn’t come easy as I had never worked in travel before but I wanted to progress my career with a highly respected company.

Starting out, I didn’t really know what to expect, I had mostly thought of the generic making tea and coffee making that had been joked around at my previous job, and that my work wouldn’t be of any use until after the first six months. When first meeting my team, I was quickly shown that this wasn’t the case, with the help of a mentor that would oversee my progress throughout and could help me stay on track. Charli has arguably been the main factor for my success while remaining at Fred. Olsen Travel and has even taught me a lot of life lessons that will stick with me forever.

Over the first few weeks I was getting along well with my team, making sure to ask plenty of questions and taking lots of notes, so that I could remember everything that my colleagues where teaching me. Looking back on this now, I have determined that my influx of questions has helped me to gain a larger knowledge of the industry than I first thought.

Over the next couple of months I had chosen my course to complete, my boss (Shane Williams) and line manager (Sarah Fisher) had helped me to decide what units I would be taking. At first I wondered how some of the units would tie into my work, but I had full confidence that they would point me in the right direction. Originally I was given a list of criteria for the qualification from VQ Manager (an online portfolio) that was 15 pages of A4, and looked like a colossal task. Thanks to the fact that I had already completed one level 3 course, I was set the challenge to complete this in just one year (compared to the two I was given at college).

As one of my main tips for anyone who is doing an apprenticeship, I would look through all of the units in your course, define which one’s you are confident in completing and tick them off first. This is so that during the later stages of your course you are likely to have learnt more, which coincidentally makes it easier for you to complete other parts of the course. Finally, you will be left with the remaining units that you are not sure about and whether this is most of them or only a few, Jane Bloomfield and your team should be your first ports of call. Jane has been a large part of my experience here and thanks to regular meetings, with the help of my team and Blue Sky I was able to complete my course in the allotted time.

Over the 12 months of my course the support team around me has been phenomenal making sure that I am always happy during my time here. I would also like to say a thank you to my team, they have taught me everything I know, keeping me determined to strive for the best, plus making sure to keep jobs fresh and making sure that I complete work in the tight time scales has helped me to improve my time management skills. Finally, thanks to my fellow apprentice, Luke Martin who helped me when I first arrived with getting to grips with the agent portal and being a good friend throughout.

If you are currently completing an apprenticeship or going to start one, here are a few do’s and don’ts that you should keep in mind.


*Ask questions – Asking questions is the key to success; don’t feel you are being a nuisance.

*Apply yourself to every task – There will be good jobs and bad jobs, make sure to put 100% into every day.

*Stay ahead of your course – Making sure to keep your course under control is a must, if you have to start rejecting work for extra coursework time, this may display poor time management skills.


* Neglect new opportunities – If you are given the opportunity, make sure to take it. Don’t allow yourself to be held back.

*Always follow protocol – Look at things in a fresh perspective, sometime things have to be done a certain way but other jobs just have guidelines and there may be more effect ways to complete tasks.

*Stop striving – Always look for new ways to impact the business and improve your skills, whether this includes learning out of hours or taking advantage of extra training sessions.

I know many people may be looking at this with a big decision of whether to take on an apprenticeship or not. I can proudly say that it has been one of the hardest but best things that I have done.


~ Martin Day
Fred Olsen. Travel


Published 02/08/2019 & Filed in Blue Sky Blog