How to remain motivated with your apprenticeship work during the Covid-19 Lockdown

Seperator

The Covid-19 lockdown has been a strangely unsettling time for everyone. Parents are trying to home-school their young children, businesses are trying to function as normal with their offices closed and staff working remotely, and learners are expected to maintain momentum with their coursework. But none of these things are easy.

Here at Gloucestershire Engineering Training, we understand that this is a stressful time for everyone, and we are all being affected whether directly or indirectly in one way or another. Although we’re not seeing you in person each day, we are still here to support you.

In this month’s blog, we have put together our top tips to help you to establish some structure in your day, without putting too much pressure on yourself.

Why it’s important to stay motivated during the lockdown

At GET we are doing all we can to provide as many opportunities for your learning to continue so that unnecessary delays are avoided. We accept and appreciate that there will be some delays, but we should all be working hard to limit these as much as possible.

Falling behind with your studies may result in the need to extend the completion date of your programme which can have some significant implications as follows:

  • Progression. Most programmes start in September of each year and therefore in order for you to progress onto higher level learning, it is important to stick to your original expected completion date as much as possible. If your current programme overruns, you may miss the deadline for enrolment onto other courses/programmes. Not all programmes have roll on and roll off dates so it could mean that you have a to wait a full year and reapply the following year.
  • Promotion. For most apprentices, completion of their apprenticeship programme results in promotion to a qualified engineering post and a permanent job offer. Delays in completion of your programme will result in delays in securing a permanent job offer and promotion.
  • Increase in pay. Once an apprentice is qualified and is placed into a qualified engineering role, their salary will also increase to a qualified rate. Any delay in your completion will mean that your apprenticeship is extended and therefore your pay remains at your apprenticeship rate and not increased to a qualified rate.

Staff are on hand to help and support you as much as possible during this time, so please do not hesitate to get in contact if you need any assistance.

Routine

An important starting point is to establish a routine which is manageable. With no classes to rush in for, it can be more than tempting to switch off the alarm and treat yourself to a big lie-in every morning!

Although we’re, of course, not suggesting that you need to wake up at 7am every morning, we do recommend having a set time to get up each morning, Monday to Friday. If you’re not a morning person, that’s okay! Don’t feel that you have to start at 9am on the dot each day; embrace the lockdown and start a little later if you’re happy working a little later into the evening when you’re feeling more productive.

Plan your meal times in advance, make sure that you’re eating three meals a day at sensible times and work around these.

Workspace

One of the most difficult things about studying from home is finding a space to work - it is important to find somewhere with minimal distractions (and temptations!). If you haven’t done so already, now is a good time to clear a space and establish a dedicated area for you to study. If you’re working off of a desktop computer then you probably already have an appropriate area with a desk but if you’re working off a laptop, it can be tempting to nestle into the sofa under a blanket and work from there.

It’s important that you are sat upright with your computer on a desk or table at an appropriate height. The top of the screen should be level with your eyes and you shouldn’t need to stoop to work, as this can become uncomfortable very quickly and hurt your neck or back. If you don’t have a stand for your laptop, then consider propping it up to be an appropriate height with a box or some chunky books. Similarly, if you use a laptop touchpad, we would advise that you consider using a mouse.

Goals/Mini Deadlines

If your workspace is near the kitchen, it can be so tempting to nip in there for a drink or a snack multiple times an hour! Be kind, yet stern, with yourself.

Set yourself realistic goals each day before you start working, then treat yourself to that drink and snack! For example, if you decide to start studying at 10am, give yourself an exercise to complete, or number of pages to read, before you nip to the kitchen! Try to stick to your routine and still have breakfast, lunch and a set finishing time each day.

The government guideline is that you can go out once a day, for a maximum of one hour, for exercise or to buy essentials. It is a good idea to do this at lunch time, to ensure that you take a full hour and to give your eyes and your brain a rest. If the weather is nice then you can catch some Vitamin D and you will also find that you’re much more productive in the afternoon.

Know When To Switch Off

As part of having a routine, plan when to put tools down and stop for the day. You’re only human and, if you live with family or friends, they will soon emerge in the evening wanting you to socialise with them and will distract you!

If you were coming into the academy or a workplace each day, there would be a cut off point. Don’t punish yourself by working late if you feel like you’ve had an unproductive day - learn from this and see tomorrow as a fresh start.

You’re Not Alone!

It is really important that you make the most of this time to make good progress with your work, but if you are finding it difficult to adapt to a new routine and stay motivated, don’t worry - you’re not alone. Here at GET we are here to support you. If you are struggling to keep on top of your work, then let us know by dropping us a confidential email to info@get-trained.org or our welfare team at welfare@get-trained.org.

We are also looking to launch a brand new podcast, and we are looking for learners to share their experiences of working from home during the lockdown. Whether you’re finding it a breeze, or you’re looking for some guidance, then email help@thesupportdesk.co.uk or complete the form below and we will let you know how to get involved!