Meet the apprentices!

To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, W.Howard Group is shining a spotlight on some of the fantastic apprentices who work across the business. Today, we meet Jamie and Matthew.

Jamie McDonnell started his apprenticeship at W.Howard Group in July 2019, working to support the logistics team – a vital department for a business that sends large volumes of stock across the country every day.

Jamie’s role is to help ensure the smooth movement of stock and made-to-order items between W.Howard’s different sites, book in deliveries, and to run the company’s courier delivery service offer.

He says: “As a material controller I need to ensure the stocks on the system are correct to what we physically have on the ground, and to investigate if they don’t match. I also run the daily trunk to our London Distribution Centre to ensure they have enough stock to fulfil their sales orders.”

Jamie made the decision to become an apprentice after going to college, and ultimately deciding that an apprenticeship would be a better path for him than university.

“Full-time education wasn’t interesting me,” he explains. “I learn better doing the job rather than just sitting in a classroom. When I found out the opening at W.Howard Group was available I jumped at the chance, and haven’t looked back since. I really enjoy the ‘business’ part of the job, and am also finding the apprenticeship course really interesting. My job is different every day, and it’s taught me to always expect the unexpected, and be able to adapt at a moment’s notice!”

Apprenticeships can suit people from all educational backgrounds, and plenty of young people choose an apprenticeship after having been to university. Matthew Potts joined the Sales and Marketing team in August 2020, after graduating from the University of Central Lancashire with a degree in Sport Business Management.

For the past six months, Matthew has been working with the sales team, processing sales orders and taking phone calls. From this month he is taking on more of a digital marketing role, focusing on online and social media content.

Matthew says: “The apprenticeship at W.Howard Group has been a brilliant opportunity to build on what I learned at university and incorporate that into the real world of work. Marketing was an area I really enjoyed studying, and W.Howard has given me the opportunity to develop and gain experience of all that digital marketing has to offer in what is a relatively new role at the company.

“Being an apprentice is really enjoyable, as the learning process we are studying to become more skilled and qualified at is tangible and relevant – we can see the results and how our work is actually helping first-hand, instead of in the classroom.”