1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am a kitchen designer in one of the Howdens depots. I go out and measure kitchens and come back to our depot and draw them up on our CAD system. I have the responsibility of meeting our monthly figure instructed to myself by my manager. Everyday is something different, not everyone wants the same kitchen.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
When I first started working at Howdens I didn't know much about kitchens or anything about using the CAD. The staff helped me know everything I know today. Howdens sent me on a training course in Northampton. There I learnt a bit more than I already knew although I learnt more about how to do things faster and most efficiently.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I left Sixth form not knowing what I wanted to do, I joined Howdens joinery not knowing what to expect. I have enjoyed every day since, the company is fab to work for. My team are friendly and made me feel comfortable and part of their team before I knew it. Coming to work doesn't even feel like work.
4. How valued do you feel by Howdens Joinery?
Howdens joinery is a great company to work for, every member of the team value each other. One thing I find great is that no manager or assistant manager higher themselves over anyone else, everyone is on the same level. Customers begin to create relationships with you, this means you are surrounded by relationships. Everyone appreciates the hard work and effort you put into your day to day job.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
My training program was a little uneasy at the start as my mentor changed within the first two months. Once I was settled with another mentor things soon picked up however I lost a lot of time with having to get organized with another instructor. Things would've been a lot easier if I had one to stick with but that isn't something anyone can help. I can't fault my training program as I learnt a lot from it, the training is only what you make of it.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
I didn't hear much from my training provider I only ever heard from my mentor if she was visiting, I didn't find it very useful as she never gave me a time of when to expect her. I do think having times to expect her to visit would have helped me a lot. As I go out and visit customers there was a few occasions that we missed each other.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
My employer couldn't have supported me anymore, every member of staff that I had contact with were more than happy to help.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
My apprentice wage was a little tough to live with as I had a car to run to get to jobs etc, I was lucky as I had my parents to help me through but it was worth it as the full time wage makes a huge difference.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Howdens offer various events for you to attend and all are very good fun!
9a. Would you recommend Howdens Joinery to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Howdens Joinery? *
Read your contract well and take note of full time hours.
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