NATIONAL APPRENTICESHIP WEEK: 8TH - 14TH FEBRUARY 2021

The 14th annual National Apprenticeship Week will highlight the beneficial impact apprenticeships can have on communities, local businesses and regional economies.
This year's theme is “Build the Future” and the aim is to encourage everyone to consider how apprenticeships can help ensure individuals are given the right opportunities to build the skills and knowledge they need to be future ready.
At JT Atkinson, we fully support the Apprenticeship scheme and see the benefits every day of training apprentices within our own workforce.



APPRENTICESHIPS AT JT ATKINSON

We aim to have 10% of our workforce enrolled on an apprenticeship course, and we recruit 25-33% of our apprentices externally.

Unless the apprentice has been recruited specifically for that role to fill a skills gap, enrolment normally happens in January, February and March in line with feedback from yearly appraisals which identifies areas for where we can support an individual in their personal development.

We have access to a range of different apprenticeship courses from various providers available to suit individual needs, from Large Goods Vehicle (LGV) Driver (Level 2) to Operations and Departmental Manager (Level 5).

DID YOU KNOW?

• 74% of employers say that apprentices improved products or service quality, while 78% say that they improved productivity.[1]
• 73% of employers say that staff morale is improved by having apprentices.[1]
• 86% of employers said that apprentices helped to develop relevant skills for the organisation which filled a skills gap in the business.[1]
• Apprentices become highly skilled even before they finish their training.[1]
• The higher and degree apprenticeships also allows apprentices to gain university-level qualifications while working, so there really is no limit to how high and how far an apprentice can go.[1]


#ASKANEMPLOYER

We asked some of our Senior Managers and Directors to explain why our apprentices are important to the business, and how we are supporting the in building their careers for the future:

"Our workforce is at the core of our business and we recognise that the continued growth and development of our company can only be achieved through highly trained, well-motivated individuals with an excellent work ethic. Apprenticeships are a great way to recruit and develop great talent at JT Atkinson and we encourage staff to continuously look for new opportunities for their personal development and career progression. We are committed to doing everything we can to prepare our workforce for the future and helping them to achieve their career goals, which is why we offer great career development opportunities through our apprenticeship schemes with leading course providers."
Jamie Atkinson, Sales and Commercial Director at JT Atkinson & Sons Ltd.

"We understand that our apprentices play a vital part in the future of our business, and we want to support them in every way we can to help them be ready for whatever the future brings. The apprenticeships we offer here at JT Atkinson allow our workforce to increase their knowledge and improve their skills which they can use in the future. Many of our workforce have completed more than one apprenticeship which has fully equipped them for any opportunities which come their way so they can achieve their full potential, especially regarding their career progression."
Paul McGill, Operations Director at JT Atkinson & Sons Ltd.

"At JT Atkinson, we encourage everyone to be the best they can be. Developing our colleagues at any level of experience is really important to us as we continue to learn and flourish as a business. We have been growing over the years and our aim is to continue to do so. As such, we are keen to bring new people on board and help them to fulfil their potential in a variety of roles across the business. Whether they see themselves as a future salesperson, HGV driver, manager or even see themselves in a Head Office function such as finance or digital marketing, we work with a variety of training providers to ensure they’re enrolled on the most appropriate course for them."
Jenny Tremewan, HR Manager at JT Atkinson & Sons Ltd.


#ASKANAPPRENTICE

We asked some of our apprentices why they chose to do an apprenticeship with JT Atkinson, what they gained  from their apprenticeship and how their apprenticeship is preparing them for the future in their careers:

"I started my first ever job just over a year ago, working as an apprentice at JT Atkinson. Even stretching back to the day of my interview, I felt welcomed by this company. Being 17 years of age and stepping into the world of work is a very daunting process, but I was welcomed with open arms and was made to feel comfortable from day one. My apprenticeship has been massively important for preparing me for my future, as I have learnt so much about how a business works which is vital for me progressing in my career, I feel like every day is a school day and it is so important to learn more and more as I get closer to finishing my apprenticeship and taking another step up in my career."
Jack Martin, Commercial Apprentice at JT Atkinson & Sons Ltd. currently enrolled on a Level 3 Diploma in Business Admin.

"Completing my apprenticeship with JT Atkinsons was an exciting learning experience and has been a great way to kick-start my full-time career. It helped me understand the industry in detail as well as business in general, including the many factors that can have an impact on us and how we manage them. With the skills and knowledge I gained, I was fully prepared for my role post-apprenticeship. Even after my apprenticeship, I am still met with endless support from my peers to help me progress my role further to be the best I can, which is why I am glad I chose to complete my apprenticeship and start my career with JT Atkinsons."
Jordan Robinson, Commercial Assistant at JT Atkinson & Sons Ltd.


CELEBRATING OUR APPRENTICES

We like to celebrate the success of all our employees, so we are taking this opportunity to celebrate the achievements of our apprentices:

Congratulations to Olivia, Phoebe, Gary, Owen, Alexander, Jonathan, Harry and Matthew who have all recently completed their Apprenticeships.
• A big well done to Jennifer, Clare, Jack, Rachael, Sharna, Craig, Robson, Ryan, Toby, Warren, Penny, Mark, Patrick, Daniel, Matthew, Daniel, Michelle, Daniel, James, Luke and Paige who are currently enrolled on apprenticeships and working to enhance their skills and expand their knowledge.
Bravo to our staff who have received accolades during their apprenticeship  - Sharna, Emma, Sam, Sarah and Gareth.

Many of our staff have seen career progression as a result of their apprenticeship - here are some success stories:

"On leaving school as a 16-year-old, I was never interested in university or further education, but I did want to improve and build a career. So, the apprenticeship was the perfect route as it allowed me to work whilst learning skills required to further my career. I joined JT Atkinson as an apprentice at the Bishop Auckland branch where I completed three level 2 NVQs and eventually worked my way up to be a Branch Manager. Since then I have completed a Level 5 (Foundation Degree) in Leadership and Management with the Chartered Management Institute, which helped to ensure I was equipped for my current role as a Regional Manager. I truly believe in the statement “ attitude trumps ability” and a modern apprenticeship gives the opportunity to gain hands on experience with the added bonus of being able to further your education. One of the main reasons that I've achieved a managerial position is due to the support I have received from JT Atkinson throughout my career and the fact that they recognised my potential and gave me the opportunity to develop."
Neil Gulliver, Regional Sales Manager at JT Atkinson & Sons Ltd.

"I chose to complete a level 3 management diploma after I was promoted to Assistant Manager to get a better insight into management and help me to continue my progression to Branch Manager. The apprenticeship taught me the different management styles, how to delegate tasks effectively, and most importantly it helped me understand the importance of supporting team development.  More recently, I have changed roles and I am now part of the newly formed Online Merchandising team within the E-Commerce department where I am continuing my personal and career development using the knowledge and skills from my apprenticeship."
Gareth Williams, Online Merchandising Manager at JT Atkinson & Sons Ltd.


HOW TO ENSURE YOUR WORKFORCE IS READY FOR THE FUTURE[2]

TRAIN – Future proof your workforce or career though an apprenticeship.

RETAIN – Apprentices gain the skills and knowledge your organisation needs, learn the values of your business and make impact. They allow you to build your future workforce and talent.

ACHIEVE – Realise the business benefits and career progression available and how apprenticeships and traineeships can help you transform your future.

“Apprenticeships are a fantastic way to learn while you earn, opening up new and exciting career paths that can transform lives. It’s been a tough year for everyone, but we want the theme for National Apprenticeship Week 2021 to be a springboard to look ahead to how apprenticeships can future proof workforces and boost careers.”
Gillian Keegan, The Minister for Apprenticeships.


References
[1] https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/800060/Achieving_the_benefits_of_apprenticeships.pdf
[2] https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/955827/National_Apprenticeship_Week_2021_toolkit.pdf