Smiths News celebrates Apprenticeship success

Monday 11th March 2013

Smiths News PLC is delighted with the success they’ve had in delivering Apprenticeships in the workplace.

Since extending their Apprenticeship offer, over 200 employees have signed up to a nationally recognised qualification framework ranging from NVQ Level 2 to Level 5 in a number of areas, including: warehousing and storage, customer service, team leading, business administration, and management.

Operational apprenticeships were first introduced in Smiths News, the newspaper and magazine wholesaling arm of the business back in 2009. And following the scheme’s success, Smiths News PLC developed its Apprenticeship offering and rolled it out to staff in its other two main businesses, Bertrams, a book wholesaler and The Consortium, a distributor of consumable products to the education and care markets.

Today, the Company offers a work-based scheme for all staff as well as the operational apprenticeship for warehouse operatives. Following their latest internal marketing campaign a further 100 employees expressed an interest in completing an apprenticeship. Trish Crichton, Talent Development Consultant for Smiths News PLC said:

“We’ve had a fantastic response from staff and I’ve been delighted by the number of people who are keen to gain a qualification. Our apprenticeship campaign has been a real success. We’ve promoted the scheme by using real case studies in our business and have shown how achieving a recognised qualification has benefitted both the individual and the organisation.”

“Our apprenticeship schemes are an integral part of the Company’s Talent Management Strategy. It maximises people’s potential. All of our apprentices receive support, training and coaching to help them reach their goals. We also recruit externally for our warehousing and storage Apprenticeship Scheme. If anyone is interested and wants to find out more about the scheme and current vacancies they should visit the careers section on our website.”

Smiths News employee Paul Price is one of the Company’s success stories. Paul joined the Company as a Warehouse Operative and signed up for the Operational Apprenticeship Scheme. After one year, he completed a Level 2 Certificate in Warehousing and Storage and then went on to complete a NVQ Level 3 in Customer Service and Management. Paul is now a Distribution Manager at one of Smiths News’ largest distribution centres in Newcastle.

Sarah Eacott, Customer Service Team Manager at The Consortium is another employee who has recently signed up to do the NVQ Level 3 in Management. Sarah said:

“I wanted to enhance my management skills, and reinforce what I know and look at areas that I do not have any experience in. I decided to do this as I know that the Apprenticeship would really benefit me, my team and the business as a whole. I am really enjoying my NVQ and it is giving me an opportunity to learn whilst I am at work.”

If anyone is interested in finding out more about the apprenticeships available at Smiths News PLC they should visit www.connectgroupplc.com/careers.

Press Contact

For all enquiries concerning press information, please contact:

Kerrie Colford
Group Communications & PR Manager
Phone: 01793 563516
Email: media@connectgroupplc.com

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