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Personal Assistant Apprenticeship

Personal Assistant Apprenticeship

You will provide administrative support to senior management or direct staff one-on-one as an apprentice personal assistant. In addition, you will help managers make the most of their time by managing secretarial and administrative duties.

PAs must be knowledgeable about the organisation for which they work. You must be aware of significant personnel, both external and internal, as well as the aims and objectives of the firm.

Managers may rely on their PA, believing that work will be finished swiftly in their absence. Consequently, discretion and secrecy are essential qualities of a successful PA.

Personal assistants are sometimes known as executive, personal, or private secretaries.

Responsibilities

Throughout your apprenticeship, you may help:

  • screen telephone calls and handle enquiries
  • organise your manager’s diary and make appointments
  • deal with letters and emails
  • arrange meetings
  • organise and maintain office systems
  • take notes at meetings, produce reports and presentations
  • make travel arrangements
  • look after visitors
  • supervise other admin staff.

Salary

  • The typical apprentice salary is £18,000 per year.
  • Salaries at senior level or with experience are around £25,000 to £33,000. Salaries in central London can range from £30,000 to £50,000, depending on the level of experience and the type of business.

Salaries depend on the size and nature of the employing organisation, as well as on geographical location.

Working hours

You’ll generally work from 9am to 5pm, depending on the type of organisation. It may be necessary to work overtime during peak times and when deadlines are close.

Qualifications

Qualifications you can achieve as an apprentice personal assistant include:

Level 3 Business Administrator – Entry requirements for this level include 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship.

Skills

On a personal assistant apprenticeship, you’ll learn:

  • administration skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • knowledge of English language
  • business management skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently.

Employers

PAs work in a range of large, medium-sized and small organisations across all sectors. Positions can be found in:

  • large commercial organisations
  • local and central government organisations
  • charities
  • schools and educational organisation
  • health organisations
  • private individuals.

Professional development

The bulk of training occurs on the job. Experienced PAs may help recruits get up to speed. Larger companies may provide a few days of induction training to introduce you to the many parts of the organisation.

Training is often done on your own time and initiative in smaller organisations, although employers may be willing to pay for relevant courses.

Career prospects

With experience, you may progress quickly. For example, PAs may rise to more senior jobs supervising younger staff. Promotions to PA are achievable for more senior management or to a larger or more recognised organisation. Moving within the industry is also possible by gaining the position, contacts, and skills to move from administration to other divisions.

Working as a PA may give you a unique view of how a business operates and how decisions are made at the highest levels. This knowledge may be useful for PAs who want to rise to management roles. PA skills may be used in various industries, including human resources, marketing, and public relations.

It is possible to specialise, for example, as a legal or medical assistant. These careers may pay more, but they may need more qualifications.

Some skilled personal assistants choose to work as self-employed virtual assistants. Virtual assistants work from home and divide their time between various clients. Some personal assistants work as virtual assistants as part of a portfolio career, combining the role with other sorts of work and, sometimes, turning a hobby into a business.

Updated on November 3, 2022

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