1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am a Funeralcare Operative and a Funeral Arranger employed by Co-operative Funeralcare. This role encompasses all areas of Funeralcare and client relations.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Yes; my initial training provided me with sufficient skills to perform my various roles. Studying for the Apprenticeship has allowed me to research further into the funeral industry, the legislation and guidelines giving me a greater in-depth knowledge.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I find that each task presented to me is a challenge to research and study. This I find extremely rewarding; it has made me more confident when I deal with a bereaved family knowing that the information and guidance I can offer them is supported by a firm knowledge of the subject.
4. How valued do you feel by Co-op?
I feel valued by our clients when I help them through a difficult time. I feel valued by my colleagues because they know I now have the knowledge and trust me to handle any situation with confidence. I feel valued by my manager who knows I can be put in any situation and have the knowledge to carry out any task in the correct manner.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
My initial company training was well organised and structured at the right level to get me started in the job. However the apprenticeship as such is rather haphazard; I have found that my trainer is somewhat disorganised, quite often fails to keep appointments, sets questions that I have already answered, conducts most interview by mobile phone and provides little constructive feedback.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
Very little from my tutor, questions are set and a date to answer them by. I progress because I have an enquiring mind and know how to research having previously studied a courses at university and college.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Whilst the general attitude at work is one of support, all my research is done in my own time at home. Because we are so busy there is no margin for me to study at work and equally there are no facilities such as computer access.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
I am on minimum wage for this occupation so quite clearly it does not cover my costs.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
9a. Would you recommend Co-op to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
An apprenticeship leading to qualifications is always worthwhile but does take a certain amount of dedication.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Co-op? *
To work for The Co-operative Funeralcare takes a certain amount of determination from the time you apply. There are several stages to pass through in the application process. Interviews are done by phone initially then face to face. If you are accepted for a role there is then a vetting procedure to go through.
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