Kitchen Designer at Howdens Joinery

Start Date:
leeds Yorkshire & The Humber
Programme Type:
Apprenticeship - Intermediate Level (Level 2)
£475 monthly
Review Date:
July 2015

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1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:


My job role is Kitchen Designer. On a daily basis I get given tasks to do each week, basically my colleague will give me a number of kitchen drawings a day. I then draw and design the customers kitchen on to the CAD system, once that is done I finally print off the customers kitchen in present mode so they can get a nice, clear image of what their dream kitchen would look like.

2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?


I have certainly developed an existing skill, and that is my confidence I feel that when I started working hear my confidence has built up even more than before. When it comes to communicating with customers face to face or on the telephone. I have developed many new skills such as; CAD skills since I went on the CAD course I came back ready and determined to try my best, and work extremely hard to get these plans bang on correct. Now at this moment I have successfully reached that stage in CAD designing. I have also developed an understanding of health and safety in a workplace, how to deal with bad relationships you may have with a member of staff in a trade business and many more. Learning the skill of becoming more mature and professional, I have learnt how to give customers excellent service etc.

3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?


I have certainly enjoyed this apprenticeship so far, I have come quite far in the 4 months I have been working hear. It has been a great work experience and I have learnt a tremendous amount, this has met a lot of my expectations what I was expecting it to be like. I enjoy the work I do, I like how we all work as a team. It was also interesting to learn about the culture of Howdens Joinery learning and understanding the history of where it all started. The company are great to work with it's a fantastic opportunity I have taken.

4. How valued do you feel by Howdens Joinery?


I feel very valued as I am making a good contribution to the Howdens company. I can see that my colleague appreciates the help I am giving to him which I feel happy about. My manager was grateful that I changed my days around at college to take up this opportunity of working for his company.

5. How well organised/structured is your programme?


I think our company are very well structured and organized. We have a canteen in our depot were all staff can eat their lunch nicely, we have two showrooms downstairs on the first floor so customers can have a quiet, private chat with their designer about their kitchen, and also present their designed kitchen to them so we as designers can make sure they are happy with what they are getting. We have the CAD design room to have meetings/discussions. We have toilet facilities for any member/customer/staff needs the toilet. In the office downstairs we have white boards up so we can write what week and period we are on, any calls, stock etc that needs doing on a specific day.

6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?


I receive a lot of support form my tutor, she guides me through what I need to do to pass my qualification. I get given plenty of help if I am struggling with anything.

6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?


I receive a tremendous amount of support from my employer, I have 1 to 1 reviews with my employer and he helps me meet my targets to improve and get better. He always checks to see how I'm doing with CAD plans, he gives me guidance through all my work.

7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?


my salary package helps in a way because, I travel to work every morning and my salary helps with travel costs which is great.

8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?


When I wasn't working I was studying at Leeds City College, studying English language and science. At that time I was also thinking of getting a part time job, working part time whilst studying at college.

9. Would you recommend Howdens Joinery to a friend?


9b. Why?

Yes because, I think it's great experience to have an excellent skill to add to your CV in the future. it's totally worth developing this designing skill if you have passion for designing. it's a great opportunity to take on and it can possibly be a great career job in the future for you.

10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Howdens Joinery?

When attending a meeting make sure you dress professional, casual not scruffy and trampy because first looks gives first impression of what kind of person you are. You will go on a CAD course to Northampton for a couple of days so be prepared, I would take a suite to wear for every day as you will be working at the training department; you will be expected to dress smartly as it's a professional business. After the course, when you arrive back at your depot be prepared to take a CAD assessment that will be marked by head office so they can see how much you have learnt over the CAD course. You should receive a pass certificate in computer aided design if you met all the expectations. The meeting that you have with the depot manager, you will also have to fill out an application make sure you have your national insurance number, passport on you as you will need your national insurance number to complete the application, and passport to prove that you are a citizen in the United Kingdom.

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