Taking on an apprentice was the best thing I ever did

Our general manager Amelia Heminway shares her experience on having apprentice Harvey Parker in her team.

Tell us about your apprentice Harvey.

Harvey joined us in April 2018 as a general assistant and to study on the Leadership Academy. It only took a few weeks to begin to see his enthusiasm and potential. I soon gave him the opportunity to mentor some of the team, to which his leadership skills started to become apparent. In February 2019, less than a year before he started, Harvey took the position of retail supervisor. It’s the fastest progression I’ve seen of anyone in my team before.

How does your apprentice benefit your team?

Massively! Genuinely, I’ve only ever seen benefits from having an apprentice; taking Harvey on was the best thing I ever did. Harvey’s enthusiasm and willingness to learn injects energy and passion into the team. It’s also helped them understand new ways of thinking. Harvey encourages other people in the team to realise there is potential to develop in their career. It’s sparked other people that wanted to progress, to enquire about other academies.

Apprenticeships give a member of staff a much more rounded approach to the business. They understand the BaxterStorey way of working and the vision. If I’m ever short staffed, Harvey’s skill set is so flexible he can help in multiple areas, as a barista, on the tills… it’s a great help.

How does Harvey manage his workload?

With the apprenticeships, HIT Training are brilliant – they understand our business. Wherever possible, they will always schedule their courses after service, which means Harvey is available during breakfast and lunch service. He also completes all his coursework at home in his own time and we are often told a year in advance which days he’ll be out the business, so you can easily plan.

Is it expensive to have an apprentice?

People shouldn’t get concerned over the costs. You’re essentially training someone that’s going to become such an asset to the business and your team, in the long run it will benefit you so much! BaxterStorey pay over the minimum wage, so you don’t have to alter the pay of an existing team member.

How did you hear about having an apprentice?

I noticed BaxterStorey’s apprentice campaign last year and talent manager Sharon Daniel had mentioned that Harvey was looking to spend time in a different unit.  I contacted her and said I would be interested in supporting him, as it was only going to be temporary. However, I saw his potential and thought, he’s not going anywhere! I put him on the Leadership Academy, and since then he has stepped up into a retail supervisor role.

Is your client supportive of Harvey?

Our client is a huge supporter of training and development, they love it! They are always keen to do more of it. Currently I’ve got Harvey on the Leadership Academy, one on the Chef Academy, Benny on the Service Academy and Lily my deputy was a graduate. We’re a busy team here!

How has the apprenticeship opened opportunities for Harvey?

Without learning the knowledge, he has on the Leadership Academy, Harvey wouldn’t have been able to progress so quickly into a retail supervisor role. He has learnt basic management skills, refined skills for finance, understands the importance of emotional intelligence and how to deal with customers in the correct way. It’s been hugely beneficial for me as well as Harvey, I’ve learnt things I didn’t know!

Do you think apprenticeships are a solution to the recruitment shortage?

I think it would definitely help, apprenticeships give people a platform to learn and develop. They become more than a job, they’re a development to progression. Harvey is a perfect example – he’s so enthusiastic. He’s only twenty, yet I have him doing my finance and sitting in my management meetings!

Want to know more? Contact training@wshsupport.com.

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