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National Apprenticeship Week: “I’d recommend Royal Star & Garter. I think it’s great.”

Olivia Watson joined Royal Star & Garter’s Surbiton Home as Business Administration Apprentice last year. To mark National Apprenticeship Week, which runs from 8-14 February, the 22-year-old explains what she does and why she couldn’t be happier with her placement.

Olivia at the Surbiton Home

Her blog is introduced by our Learning & Development Manager, Malcolm Brown:


I’m delighted that we have Olivia with us, and that we are contributing to the government’s apprenticeship scheme and target. She is enjoying working in an environment that best suits her skills, needs and requirements. Olivia also has the opportunity of continuing as an employee after her apprenticeship is completed. For the charity, the apprenticeship scheme allows people to flourish within our environment, exposing people to our care home environment who might otherwise never have considered coming into this area of work. I think she is almost a perfect match for us, and I hope in the future we can have more apprentices in all our Homes.”

Olivia Watson


I’m studying Business Administration Level 3 at Nescot College in Ewell, and I joined Royal Star & Garter at the end of September 2020.


An apprenticeship has always appealed to me because you get to learn different skills while working. You don’t stick to one area, you get to work in a variety of areas and learn lots of different skills.


I hadn’t heard of Royal Star & Garter before I came to work here. When I started my course I received a list of organisations I could apply for, and the charity was number one on my list. When I was younger, I worked in a care home as a waitress and I enjoyed it, I really liked the environment. So there was that immediate appeal with Royal Star & Garter. Then I did my research and it seemed like a good place to work.


Since starting with the charity, I’ve been working on the reception desk. My work includes registering Covid tests among the staff, keeping up-to-date records with agency staff, answering calls, helping sort the transport list for staff, and helping the activities team set up Zoom meetings for residents. I do lots of general admin things like filing and making sure HR files are up to date.


In the future, I’ll be doing all things related to general admin. I’ll be working on Hospitality, with the People Business Partner, and with the Home Administrator.

I’ve really enjoyed the many different things I’ve done so far. I’ve been picking up new skills like IT and communications and learning how the Home is run. It’s also special seeing the courage, love and compassion in the Home. You can’t help but be affected and learn from that too.


I’d recommend an apprenticeship. It’s a wonderful opportunity to learn new skills in a work environment. I’d also recommend Royal Star & Garter as I think it’s great. Everyone is really friendly and helpful and I’m really enjoying it so far. There’s not been a single day where I’ve felt I don’t want to go to work.


I’m not sure what my long-term career goal is, but whatever I do, I think my apprenticeship will help me get there.


If you are interested in an apprenticeship at Royal Star & Garter, please email Malcolm at