A great opportunity says Wickes Apprentice Nathan
As the industry puts a spotlight on Apprenticeships this week (NAW2023), we talk to Wickes about their programme to find out more.
Taking apprenticeships seriously can bring numerous benefits to retailers and can help them build a strong and sustainable workforce for the future.
Apprenticeships provide opportunities for employees to develop specific skills and knowledge related to the industry, which can lead to increased productivity and improved job performance.
A spokesperson for the home improvement retailer told TRB that they ‘are committed to empowering colleagues’ and that they see apprenticeships as a ‘fantastic way to learn’. The retailer has developed flexible programs that can fit around students’ own time and offer a range of opportunities across the Wickes business, with apprenticeships in everything from store, distribution, installation and our support centre.
With skills development a big focus for Wickes, their apprenticeship program caters for a range of people ‘whether you are starting out in your career or looking to upskill, our apprenticeships help to build skills that will be beneficial for life’.
Many retailers see Apprenticeships as an opportunity to build a competitive edge. According to the brand, the DIY industry has seen a boom post-pandemic and with skilled installers needed now more than ever, Wickes are creating apprenticeships to help build a skilled workforce of trusted installers. These programs provide young workers with everything they need to start a successful career in DIY.
This is what Nathan, 26 years’ old had to say about the Wickes apprenticeship:
“I did the pilot course of Wickes’ Installer Apprenticeship in 2019. It lasted two years, though I think it now takes 18 months, and I graduated with a level 2 in fitted furniture.
“There were eight of us on the program, in total and 80% of our time was spent on-site with our respective installers. 20% of our time was also spent together in Nottingham at the WEBS training centre where we focused on technical aspects of kitchen fitting, flooring and tiling as well as electrical and plumbing awareness training. The program also taught us about customer service skills and the key skills for setting up your own business, which I’m pleased to say I’ve been able to do, launching my business in 2021 after completing the course.
“The program teaches you all transferable skills needed in your final career. Participants are offered the chance to learn about all the different aspects of furniture fitting from how to fit worktops, to controlling a tool correctly, to learning how to deliver great customer service and so much more.
“As part of the program, I got the opportunity to meet people from all over the country and, with ten weeks together at the training centre in Nottingham, we had the chance to build some great friendships”.
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