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Bethany's Apprenticeship Story

16 Jan

Bethany, 19, joined the TP Management Apprenticeship scheme after working at B&Q for 3 years and completing a Level 3 BTEC in Business, Management & Accounts.

“After finishing at college, I knew I wanted a management career in the building trade. The TP Management Apprenticeship scheme caught my eye as it offered the chance to combine my practical skills and love of hands-on work with the theory I’d learned at college. I applied online and after phone and face to face interviews, I was accepted.

I started my Management Apprenticeship at City Plumbing in September 2015. I learnt the ropes on the Trade Counter and in the warehouse: getting to know the customers, building up my product knowledge and learning how the systems work. Since then, I’ve taken on all kinds of responsibilities, from ordering stock to Health & Safety. There’s a huge variety of tasks and no two days are ever the same.

I’ve also spent time working at Travis Perkins and Wickes, which I found very interesting as I got to learn how different Group businesses operate and the unique challenges they face. I've been involved in quite a few projects during my apprenticeship, such as boosting Trade Account growth and sales, and promoting the clearance bay. Another key project was keeping down dead stock levels so the branch could meet its targets.

The most important skill I've learned is how to manage people, both customers and staff. My biggest achievement has been getting some of my colleagues to change how they work – no easy task when they've been doing their jobs for years! Encouraging people to change is a big challenge, but it’s hugely rewarding to watch them grow and achieve their best.

There are so many things I enjoy about my job: my branch, my customers, my team… Just coming to work is a reward in itself as I love being here. A recent highlight was visiting the TP Innovation Centre and gaining a fascinating insight into the future of products that are still being tested and won’t be in-branch for another 15-20 years.

After my apprenticeship, I'm keen to progress to Assistant Manager and then Branch Manager. Later on, I’d like to move into a supply chain or buying role at Head Office; I'm very interested in sustainability and would relish the chance to put some of my ideas into practice.

I would encourage anyone thinking of applying for the Management Apprenticeship scheme to just do it! TP is a great company to work for. They’ll give you a rewarding career and really invest in your future. The fact that our CEO started out as an apprentice speaks for itself! The scheme offers so many opportunities to learn and develop – I can’t recommend it enough.”

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