1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I have an apprenticeship in business administration with Howdens Joinery and my role entails various different things from day to day. I do the filing and paperwork every day as this is a compliance procedure and must be done for legal reasons. I also ring our customer base and let them know of any offers we have going on and what kind of work they are doing and if they have anything coming up that they could source from Howdens. I also get involved with our new accounts. I let them know their account is open and offer them special deals for their first trade. I also work with sales, calling quotes and leads and chasing up any potential sales that we have. I have great friendships with lots of the customers and have got to know them really well. I work on the counter and help present our company to end users and give them any advice that they might need.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have definitely learnt more skills whilst working with howdens. I am much more confident now than I was before I started. My product knowledge is very good. I have learnt more communication skills eg e-mails and how to hold a good conversation over the phone. I have learnt to be more professional around customers and know what to say and what not to say. I have good computer skills but with this job role now I know how to do more complex things over the computer and how to use the K8 system very well.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I really enjoy this programme and get excited every day for work. The customer base are great and never fail to make me smile and the people I work with are great. Every day there is something different for me to learn and try out and if not then there is always room to improve on my knowledge of what I have already learned.
4. How valued do you feel by Howdens Joinery?
I feel very much valued by howdens. Within company incentives and rewards really make you feel like your work that you do for them is very much appreciated. They are always there to support you and take the running of the company very seriously. They are never rude or out of line and any problems they are here to help.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The physical work side of this programme is great and the skills that you get to learn are very important. I know that I will not forget these skills and hope to stay within the company. The apprenticeship side is good too, with work and regular updates and support to make sure you get on okay.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
I receive support when I have a problem and if there is anything that I need to discuss with someone. I don't have much contact with my training provider but when I do he is very helpful.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I receive so much support from my employer and when I strike a new problem he will always make sure I know what I have to do and if I ever find something a little bit challenging he will sit me down and work it out with me and give me advice on how to do it in the quickest most efficient way. He has made me fully aware of what is right and what isn't within the company and also has made me aware of how to do everything in a professional way. Andy has made sure that I know how to approach customers and get leads.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
As im on an apprenticeship it isn't the best paid way of things and I do struggle sometimes, but with care and responsibility it is a good amount of money for someone who lives at home. If you live away from home and are on the apprenticeship then it is a little bit harder.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Yes, I know that howdens takes part in charity events and does a lot for good causes. We go for meals, we play rounders as a company and have competetions throughout the year.
9. Would you recommend Howdens Joinery to a friend?
Because the work you do is very bennifical and what you learn is very good. They treat you well and make sure you get everything that you need.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Howdens Joinery?
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