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Meet our Apprentices

Here's what some of our apprentices, past and present, have to say about their experiences on apprenticeships at A.F. Blakemore: 
 

Jordan Maitland

Warehouse & Distribution Apprentice

JordanWhy did you choose to study as an apprentice with A.F. Blakemore? I tend to prefer practical learning to clasroom-based work, so working in the warehouse and completing the coursework offers a varied and interesting workload.

How has A.F. Blakemore supported you and helped you progress? The role has taught me how to get on with people from all backgrounds and work as a team. I also recognise that here at A.F. Blakemore doors are open to me. If you work hard and show that you’re willing, new opportunities will become available to you.

What have you enjoyed most on your apprenticeship so far? I’ve recently learnt how to do stock control and I’ve found it really interesting as I like computers. It’s great to learn how it all works and gain new skills.

What are your plans for the future with A.F. Blakemore? After I’ve completed my apprenticeship I would be keen to either continue working in stock control or work towards a management role within the Logistics division.

 

Andrew Howell

Customer Service Provider

AndrewWhy did you choose to study as an apprentice with A.F. Blakemore? I joined the company on a customer service apprenticeship in April 2014. I saw the apprenticeship as an opportunity to get my foot in the door at the company, as I really wanted an office job in a local and supportive environment and I really appreciated the company’s good sense of community.

How has A.F. Blakemore supported you and helped you progress? I have gained more customer service skills and improved my communication skills through great support and training from team leaders. When we recently had some new starters, I was able to support them, which was nice. I also feel like I’m not just another number at A.F. Blakemore, since during my apprenticeship I was recognised for my outstanding work at an awards ceremony in London.

What do you find most interesting about your role? I enjoy the job itself, the friendly environment I work in and the sense of satisfaction I get when I help customers get back on track. I also really enjoyed the training I recieved whilst on the apprenticeship. 

What are your plans for the future with A.F. Blakemore? I’d really like to either progress into a leadership role or branch out into IT. It’s great that A.F. Blakemore keeps its apprentices on and keeps developing staff and I really want to take advantage of that.

 

Brett Hudson-Humpage

Warehouse & Distribution Apprentice

BrettWhy did you choose to study as an apprentice with A.F. Blakemore? It was recommended to me as college wasn’t going so well. I realised college wasn’t for me – I found it boring. I didn’t like sitting in a classroom and I wanted to do something that was more practical.

How has A.F. Blakemore supported you and helped you progress? It’s great getting the experience while you work. I’m not sitting in a classroom talking about it, I’m doing it! I’ve learnt how to drive a picking truck and assemble customer orders. I feel I’m gaining more and more knowledge about the world of work, every day.

What have you enjoyed most on your apprenticeship so far? I like that my role includes a variety of different jobs as it means no two days are the same. Recently I also had the chance to work with work experience students in the warehouse. It was great to see how they were on their first day and how they’d progressed by the Friday. It was a great experience and a big responsibility to train them how to pick and pack. I was very happy to be given the opportunity.

What are your plans for the future with A.F. Blakemore? I would like to get trained up on the fork lift truck and do that for 12 months. Then, once I’ve got my driving license, I’d like to move on to transport through the company’s Warehouse to Wheels scheme.

 

Jen Davies

Warehouse & Distribution Apprentice

JenWhy did you choose to study as an apprentice with A.F. Blakemore? I was keen to study as an apprentice with A.F. Blakemore because the apprenticeship seemed more varied than the others available. You are able to learn loads about different sections and get a qualification at the end. I also like the fact that A.F. Blakemore is a family based company, closely linked with the community.

What have you enjoyed most on your apprenticeship? I have enjoyed working in the loading bay the most. I have also enjoyed the written part of the apprenticeship and building relationships with others in the warehouse. Since working at A.F. Blakemore I have been able to take part in community activities and training, such as litter picking and the Effective Team Member course. I am keen to take advantage of more opportunities like these.

What are your plans for the future with A.F. Blakemore? I want to work towards becoming a team leader at the company and would be very interested in eventually becoming a HGV driver through the Warehouse to Wheels training programme.

 

Georgia Adams

Administration Clerk

GeorgiaWhy did you choose to study as an apprentice with A.F. Blakemore? I joined the company on a customer service apprenticeship in 2013 after hearing that A.F. Blakemore was a good company to work for. I planned to start as an apprentice and work my way up into a permanent role, which I achieved. I was happy that the apprenticeship was not classroom based and liked the fact I would do all my training at work.

How has A.F. Blakemore supported you? The role has really built up my confidence – I am now a better communicator with people at all levels. I went on an auditing course which really helped me in my role. I have learnt how to use different computer systems as well as about different job roles through providing cover in Claims, the Bonus Office and date checking in the warehouse. The role is varied and that’s what I like.

What did you enjoy most on your apprenticeship? I enjoyed meeting new people through ordering, whether they were internal or external. My proudest moment was raising £550 for Compton Hospice through a Christmas jumper day. I would really like to be involved in more community work through the business in the future.

What are your plans for the future with A.F. Blakemore? I am interested in receiving more training. I also like the idea of eventually moving into more of an HR role as I really like dealing with people and solving problems.

 

Jack Ansell

Warehouse & Distribution Apprentice 

JackWhy did you choose to study as an apprentice with A.F. Blakemore? I want to get a qualification while working and I like the fact that A.F. Blakemore is a local, family-based company. It’s a different setting from school – a new environment, and I feel I respond better to practical learning.

How has A.F. Blakemore supported you? Through attending the company's Effective Team Member course I have improved my leadership skills and strengthened my communication skills.

What are your plans for the future with A.F. Blakemore? I would like to gain permanent employment with the company and become a team leader or supervisor in the future. 

 

Marco Mal

IT Technician

MarcoHow has A.F. Blakemore supported you? I have learnt a lot. I deal with the majority of the business and offer IT support both in person and remotely. I had learnt the basics through other training, but the apprenticeship at A.F. Blakemore has helped me develop further and has set me on my career path.

What do you enjoy most about your role? I enjoy making calls to different places across the business and meeting new people. I feel I’m a practical learner and that I have learnt a lot being on the job and supported by other members of the team.

What are your plans for the future with A.F. Blakemore? I hope to gain more experience and gain more knowledge. The world of IT is always changing, so it will be necessary for me to go on top-up courses every now and then. I enjoy my role overall and feel that A.F. Blakemore is a supportive environment to learn and develop. Learning and working at the same time really suited me and I would recommend doing an apprenticeship to other young people.