1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
working on different areas of the store, for example tills, bread, ambient, produce, chiller, freezer. I have to interact with customers on a daily basis to ensure they have the best experience possible in store. As a trainee manager I can also be called upon to perform management duties like ordering stock or managing staff.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have been awarded my first year qualification and am now working on the second year, which is more tailored towards management and communication etc. I sometimes receive set training days in store but mostly skills are picked up with experience. I have not been on any dedicated courses, however I was invited to a management conference at the Aldi head office.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I have enjoyed the last year despite how chaotic it has been, the store often forgets that you are supposed to be an apprentice and therefore learning new skills, and simply push you along with the rest of the staff. I am supposed to receive training hours to complete apprenticeship work in which I do not, and the store is supposed to pay for my visits with my assessor, but they do not, aside from that I have no complaints, the work is tough but very rewarding.
4. How valued do you feel by Aldi?
Aldi as a company value their employees very much, they give employees the opportunity to voice their opinions in yearly questionnaires, and have just introduced a new system whereby one member of every level from each store (EG store assistant, deputy manager) go to a meeting to voice the opinions of those in store. Aldi seem to genuinely value the feedback you give them and actively seek out new ways to improve. every month each member of staff has a 15 minute catch up with the store manager to receive feedback.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The structure for the programme is an area that needs improvement. I do not receive any dedicated training shifts which I should be, there is no communication between the apprenticeship assessor and the store, so I have to arrange meetings and I usually have to see the assessor in my own time as the store will not give me the hours. It seems to me that there is no real structure the the apprenticeship at all, nobody seems to know what they should be doing with me, so i'm treated as a store assistant and do not receive any training. I work incredibly hard and am held in high regard among the team, but I feel as though I am doing the same job as everyone else and receiving less money to do so because i'm not given the additional training that should come with the apprenticeship. I'm sure that if the company produce some kind of guidelines that the store should be working with the apprenticeship would definitely be more structured and would have a better success rate. That being said the support system in the store and company is fantastic and I can speak to anybody for help.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
My training advisor can often be difficult to arrange meetings with be she wants to see all 3 apprentices in my store all at once with is very tough because we all work on different rotas every week and it's very rare that all 3 of us are present at the same time on the same day, however aside from that she is very supportive and always willing to help us if we need it. I feel happy contacting her if I have an issue.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Aldi are very happy to support me, generally I would go to a deputy manager or assistant store manager for support, however if the issue is great enough I can go and see the store manager directly. Problems don't always get resolved very fast and you sometimes have to push them for a length of time to get results, but they are very busy so that can be expected.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
Aldi pays its apprentices very well, your pay rises every year and in the 3rd year you are paid the same as the store assistants. I am currently in my second year, and am on a 30 hour contract at £6.70 an hour which I can afford to comfortably rent my flat and pay bills with.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
The company holds lots of events which all employees are invited to. I recently went to a management conference which was a very exciting opportunity to get a better understanding of how the company is performing and what areas need improving. In our region they recently had a football tournament between stores.
9a. Would you recommend Aldi to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
working for Aldi is very rewarding and also provides a good challenge every day, you get to work with very motivated team who are all fantastic at what they do. I feel very valued at Aldi and continue to progress and am confident that at the end of my course I will be a deputy manager.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Aldi? *
The application process is very slow and you might not hear back for some time. You will most likely have a group interview and then a 1 on 1. Aldi look for motivated individuals who are looking for a challenge. I would recommend some degree of fitness as the job can be very physical at times. Be thick skinned and be ready to deal with the public, and be ready to take on different responsibilities every day.
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