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Apprentices hit the right note at Normans
Back row: Director of Normans Musical Instruments, Andy McKeown, Warehouse Manager, Dan Gibbs and Warehousing apprentice, Liam O'Toole. Front row: Warehouse Operative, Taylor Reid and Customer Service apprentice, Jack Spencer
One of the country’s leading specialist suppliers of musical instruments and accessories, Normans Musical Instruments in Burton upon Trent is leading the way with a successful apprenticeship programme, delivered in partnership with Burton and South Derbyshire College.
The company began employing apprentices in its warehouse a few years ago when looking for additional staff that could be trained to work to the company’s high standards.
The apprentices in the warehouse have been extremely successful, with a 100% retention rate of apprenticeships to full time employees. The company has now branched out by taking on a customer service apprentice in its sales team, and is looking to expand the range of opportunities it can offer in the future.
Speaking about the company’s support of apprenticeships, Director of Normans Musical Instruments, Andy McKeown, said: “Taking on apprentices has been great for the business and I’m delighted to say that every single one has been a real asset to the company. We also feel that we’re putting something back into the community by supporting local youngsters who are keen to develop their skills in a work based environment. For any business, apprenticeships are a low risk way of recruiting new full time staff. They genuinely want to come to work and are committed to doing the job well, and when we find good people, we do whatever we can to keep them!”
Former apprentice and now permanent Warehouse Operative at the company, Taylor Reid, said: “I was in sixth form doing my A Levels but I wasn’t sure it was the right path for me. I decided to give an apprenticeship a go as it gets you into the working environment. If you’re unsure about what career to do, apprenticeships give you the chance to gain skills and grow into an adult. It’s an opportunity to get some money behind you and get on the career ladder. Once you get your foot in the door at a company, you never know what it can lead to.”
Current apprentice, Jack Spencer, was employed by the company after contacting them in person to ask if they had considered an apprentice. He said: “I have a passion for music and have played the piano for three years. I was looking for a job that linked customer service with music so I contacted Normans to see if they would consider offering me an apprenticeship. I was really pleased when they offered me the job and it just goes to show that you shouldn’t be afraid to get in touch with companies you would like to work for.
“I have had the opportunity to learn more about different types of instruments, I’m in charge of the piano room and I’ve generated a lot of sales for the company. Because I have a passion for music, I am able to relate to customers and help them find what they are looking for.”
Those interested in applying for an apprenticeship can find out more at www.bsdc.ac.uk/apprenticeships or employers looking to take on an apprentice can contact the employer training line on 01283 494510.
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