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Apprenticeships Work: The impact they’ve had on our business

This week (5-9 March) is National Apprenticeship Week 2018 and the theme this year is ‘Apprenticeships Work’. We asked employers, apprentices, and Catch22 staff to share with us the impact they've seen apprenticeships have and all this week we're sharing their stories. Today we're highlighting Proteus Waterproofing, an employer that trains their apprentices through Catch22.

05 March 2018

When we asked employers to share their stories of how ‘Apprenticeships Work’, Rozalind, Office Manager, at Proteus Waterproofing got in touch straight away. Her company, which has only been trading since 2013, started hiring apprentices in 2015 and now couldn’t do without them. Rozalind told us about the impact they’ve had and why she nominated apprentice Holly for the Woman in Roofing Rising Star Award, an award for women under 25 who have been in the industry for 5 years or less.

Why do you hire apprentices?
I think that the youth of today are a highly undervalued resource and perhaps without the right guidance and support they themselves aren’t necessarily aware of what they are capable of.

“Our company ethos is to take the raw talent and enthusiasm of young people who have a desire to succeed, and through the apprenticeship programme, guide and nurture them. This helps develop their skills and shape their careers whilst supporting the growth of the business.”

Apprenticeships give you a huge resource, but you need to invest time into implementing the right programme to get the most out of the individuals you hire. What you get in return for that, the return on your investment, is huge. You can grow your business through the youth of today, you have succession planning sorted, and you have new skills, new talent and new ideas. Figure out what’s right for you and make it work – for both the company and the apprentice.

Why did you nominate your apprentice Holly for the Woman in Roofing Rising Star Award?
What hasn’t Holly done that sets herself apart from others?! The most striking thing is her attitude to her own learning and development; her eagerness to always know more, to push harder, to take on more responsibility. She is fearless!

Photo of apprentice, Holly Morton Parker, sitting at a desk with her hands on a keyboard

This is complemented by her complete lack of arrogance. Holly is never too proud to ask for help if she doesn’t understand or would like support, nor too conceited to try and hide her mistakes. She is the first to offer support to others that would benefit from her experience or could do with some additional training.

Tell us a bit about Holly’s apprenticeship journey
After school Holly started an accounting course at a local college but, having completed the first year of the course, she decided it wasn’t for her.

When Holly she sat across from me at her apprenticeship interview it was the first job interview she had ever attended. Although openly nervous Holly held her own and displayed an admirable inner confidence. Holly began her Level 2 Business Administration Apprenticeship with Proteus in June 2015 as an Apprentice Sales Administrator. Since then Holly has completed here Level 2 Business Administration Apprenticeship, and her role progressed to that of Sales Administrator. She is now undertaking a Level 3 Leadership and Management Apprenticeship, is the Senior Sales Administrator.

Holly has developed her knowledge, ability and confidence immeasurably since she started at Proteus and is an integral part of the team, trusted to carry out whatever is asked of her in an efficient manner.

Tell us a bit about what Holly does in her apprenticeship
Holly is Proteus’ Senior Sales Administrator; she is the team lead on our Sales Admin team of three – all apprentices. Holly’s team is responsible for order processing for external customers, from the point of order placement through to delivery.

Her talents don’t end there- Holly also works closely with me on the purchasing side of the business, maintaining appropriate stock levels. Furthermore, she works alongside our warehouse staff and has a high level of involvement with the delivery of our contractor training programme.

Has Holly overcome any challenges in her apprenticeship?
Holly has had to learn, at a technical level, about our full range of products and the roofing industry- including the broad concepts of design and building regulations. She’s developed a strong administrative skill set, excellent customer service skills, and an intimate working knowledge of our bespoke order processing/finance system. All from a starting point of absolutely no work experience!

However, I suspect Holly has found being not only the youngest member of the team that she leads, but also the youngest member of the office staff overall to be her greatest challenge to date. However, with her current training, and continued support, she is overcoming that challenge with the tenacity that I have come to expect from her; earning her the respect from her colleagues that she so richly deserves.

Holly has been shortlisted for the Woman in Roofing Rising Star Award and the winners will be announced on 14th March at the Woman in Roofing Conference.

Further information