National Apprenticeship Week 2021

National Apprenticeship Week 2021

This week (8-14th February 2021) is National Apprenticeship Week. The week where we can appreciate the effort and hard work that former and current apprentices have put in to improve themselves, and the places in which they work.

Over the years, Protrade has supported the apprenticeship scheme, and welcomed many school leavers and young adults through our doors. Almost all of them have gone on to have rewarding careers with us, and have contributed significantly to the business.

This week, we’ll meet some of the graduates from our apprenticeship scheme and take a brief look at their journey with us. And if you’re interested in joining us on our apprenticeship programme, scroll to the bottom of the page to find out how.

adam-sanders-apprentice-2Adam – Depot Sales & Support

What course did you do in your apprenticeship?
I did a Level 3 in Retail, which I started in April 2014. So it’s coming up to 6 years since I qualified from my apprenticeship.

What did you find challenging about the course, what did you find easy?
The amount of written work involved was very demanding and time consuming so trying to keep up to date on that whilst perfecting the practical side of the job was challenging. There was also a massive amount of product knowledge to take on board too, and using that knowledge to advise customers was particularly rewarding.

What skills did you learn which you’ve put in to your work life?
My people skills in general benefited massively from speaking to customers on the phone and on the trade counter. This then helped perfect my customer service skills as I went along. My computer skills have also improved since joining Protrade.

What top piece of advice would you give to anyone thinking about an apprenticeship?
It is a great way to learn new life and professional skills. Learning on the job whilst earning money with the knowledge that if you do well and give 100%, there is a chance your employer will take you on full time once your apprenticeship ends. It is a great first step into the adult world of work.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I enjoy following Derby County home & away. I enjoy playing darts (and watching darts). Can’t beat a good drink in the pub either with my mates!

What are you watching on Netflix?
I have watched a few good films on Netflix but never binge watched a series if I am honest.

 

Maria Marketing ApprenticeMaria – Marketing Executive

What course did you do in your apprenticeship?
Level 3 Diploma in Social Media for Business. I completed this in 2016.

What did you find challenging about the course, what did you find easy?
I found it challenging trying to fit my apprenticeship work in around busy periods at work. If we were launching a big event such as the Tool Show, deadlines had to be met. This meant I had to finish modules in my own time. I found some of the modules easy from learning Media Studies as an A Level. From keeping up with changing technology, it also helped me with my course.

What skills did you learn which you’ve put in to your work life?
Even though I already had social media and blogs skills from my personal use, I learnt how different it was to use for a business. I have put these skills into my work life and have grown the following on Protrade’s Instagram and Facebook profiles.

What top piece of advice would you give to anyone thinking about an apprenticeship?
Don’t put off an apprenticeship due to the industry you will be working in. Originally I wanted to work in marketing within the fashion or beauty industry. However, I am now a Marketing Executive for Protrade and really enjoy my job. You will learn skills that are transferrable to other sectors. Working for a small/medium business has allowed me to learn different aspects within marketing. Working in a very small marketing team means that one day I could be on a photo shoot for new products, then editing a video, then writing an eshot. No day is ever the same as the next.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
Before COVID-19: I enjoy socialising with friends and family, exploring new cities and going abroad. During COVID: I enjoy going on walks and taking part in Jay’s Virtual Pub Quiz.

What are you watching on Netflix?
I have just finished watching The Crown on Netflix and I am now watching all the seasons of Grey’s Anatomy on Amazon Prime.

 

Ella Accountancy ApprenticeElla – Trainee Accountant

What course did you do in your apprenticeship?
AAT Advanced Diploma In Accounting – Level 3. I am now working on my Professional Diploma in Accounting – Level 4.

What did you find challenging about the course, what did you find easy?
Towards the end of my course we went into lockdown because of Covid, this was challenging because we were having to learn at home by ourselves instead of all together in a classroom. I found my Bookkeeping unit was the easiest.

What skills did you learn which you’ve put in to your work life?
Cost Management, Financial Reporting, Financial Statements, Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).

What top piece of advice would you give to anyone thinking about an apprenticeship?
Do it, you are learning on the job, getting practical real-world experience, and also earning money at the same time.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love to bake, and I also read a lot in my spare time.

What are you watching on Netflix?
I’m watching The Fall at the moment.

 

Finance apprentice joshJosh – Finance Apprentice

What course did you do in your apprenticeship?
AAT Advanced Diploma In Accounting Level 2 & 3

What did you find challenging about the course, what did you find easy?
What I found challenging was learning different sort of accounting principles within the role and the course. I wouldn’t say anything was easy but if you make the effort, work hard and put the time in you get the results you want.

What skills did you learn which you’ve put in to your work life?
Time management is something which has been improved for me. Working in a busy workplace, with many demands on everyone’s time means that being efficient and prioritising are crucial. Also, working things out on my own is very important. I have found it more rewarding by trying to come up with a problem or solution on my own than to ask for pointers, unless necessary.

What top piece of advice would you give to anyone thinking about an apprenticeship?
If you feel you will like it, go and try it.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love to both watch & play football.

What are you watching on Netflix?
Gabbing my attention right now is Lupin.

 

Erica – Purchasing Assistant

What course did you do in your apprenticeship?
Business Administration.

What did you find challenging about the course, what did you find easy?
As I moved employers part way through the course, it meant that I had to complete the course in 9 months rather than the usual 12. So there was a bit of pressure in terms of workload.

What skills did you learn which you’ve put in to your work life?
The use of different computer software. In the business now, I use the full range of Office software, and also our business back end systems which runs all the purchasing, invoicing, and accounting operation.

What top piece of advice would you give to anyone thinking about an apprenticeship?
To 100% consider one! It’s the best route to take if you’re wanting to learn and earn on the job at the same time. I found it an easier way of studying a subject I was interested in.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
Follow Derby County home and away (when we’re able to get to the grounds).

What are you watching on Netflix?
Breaking Bad, currently on series 2. I’ve still got some way to go!

 

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