Two employers and their apprentices talk about the mutual benefits of apprenticeships

Two employers and their apprentices talk about the mutual benefits of apprenticeships


The reason Thomas Cook believe in the apprenticeship
programme is, we are bringing in fresh new talent into our business every year and
these young people bring a different outlook and they add another dimension to a team and
yes, they need lots of nurturing and they need lots of training, but the reward when
you see them develop is, is really satisfying. Becoming an apprentice has given me the opportunity
to have a mentor whereas if I just came in as a sales consultant I wouldn’t have had
that one to one. I sit with her every day and watch her what she does in the job. There is huge payoff for Thomas Cook in keeping
really fabulous staff and they then go on to a very rewarding with Thomas Cook. So for
us it is a win win situation we take young people, the majority are young people, we
nurture them we develop them and then in future they are very often our managers, customer
service managers or mentors for our new apprentices. With my work, if I’m stuck with anything she
helps me with that so it’s nice to have that one to one with her. Here at Virgin Care we are passionate about
growing our own people, so it’s really important that for us that we bring apprentices in to
work them through our system. We invest in their training and their development, pushing
them all the way through their apprenticeships. The benefits we get back from the apprenticeships
are huge, they go to college and they learn off other peers they learn from their tutors
they’re able to bring those sorts of things back to the office. We’re ploughing our money
into those apprenticeships and they will come through and hopefully stay within Virgin Care
and progress as the times goes to actually, the finances that we put into them will just
grow year on year. I started in August, just as a basic apprentice,
doing a business admin apprenticeship and I came in and sort of learnt that very quickly
and showed them what I was capable of and then a rostering position came up in the same
team and when I expressed an interest in that and spoke to my manager about it she was very
supportive. I was appointed and from then on I’ve been doing that on the side of my
apprenticeship. We have apprentices that are from Scotland
down to the south coast, so all over the UK and they often work in a retail store and
they will be the only apprentice in that location. When I was looking at the apprenticeships
I don’t really look at any others in the sense that I went to college for two years, however,
at college they push going to university a lot and I just thought well this is the easiest
way for me to do. So, we bring them together as much as we can
for their training days, they will have the same assessor deliver their training for
them, when they first join the business and they’ll have a variety of classroom days and
they’ll go back into the workplace, put those skills into practice. And that same
assessor that’s delivered that training will then see them all the way throughout that
journey. They will then be the same assessor assessing them in the workplace so that really
helps the relationship. The apprenticeship has given me the confidence
to be able to deal with customers in an effective way so I feel more comfortable with answering
the phones and chatting to customers and actually booking their holiday. It would be really hard to imagine if we didn’t
have apprentices, they bring so much fresh talent into our business on a regular basis.
The work that they bring, their support, their enthusiasm and their dedication. I think being
an apprentice is really a tough job sometimes as well as doing a full-time job they are
learning a whole range of new skills. The reason why I would recommend an apprenticeship
for someone that’s at school is the fact that you get to learn and earn. Although obviously you do come
full time into the job it doesn’t feel that way, you are given the opportunity to learn,
you can take your study hours off the shop floor to be able to do your work. And basically,
like I say, it teaches you every aspect of the job, so you know exactly what you’re
doing. And I mean, everyone makes mistakes, but when you’re the apprentice you make
mistakes and you learn from that and you carry on with your job. I think that the energy and the passion that
they bring to our business I can’t ever imagine our world without them to be honest.

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