1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
When I started the apprenticeship I was a team manager which in many companies is referred to as a deputy or assistant manager. I was responsible for managing the store and running the store in the absence of the store manager. Since then I have progressed to be a store manager Responsible for running a seasonal store in the west of Cornwall. Which has some challenges due to the 25% increase in turnover in the summer season.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
By doing the apprenticeship I feel that I have really developed bothin myself and as a manager. I am more confident in difficult situations and more proactive as opposed to being reactive. It has made me think about my behaviours and how these are perceived by others. This is very useful especially when getting used to managing a new team. It has been great to put my improved skills to use with the team. I look at diversity differently now as a result of the apprenticeship. And how useful it is to have a diverse team. I had never considered this before the apprenticeship
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I am thouroughly enjoying the program and finding it very useful. It has been great to be a part of and to be able to see myself improving and growing as a result of the apprenticeship. I would highly recommend the apprenticeship to any colleagues who are interested in progression. And anyone who wishes to develop themselves. It great to take part in a programme which makes you think and on occasions makes you think about things differently to how you ever have before.
4. How valued do you feel by Co-op?
I feel very valued by the Coop. I know that the apprenticeship is great for me and my development aswell as a great investment by the Coop and after completing the apprenticeship I believe that I will be in a very strong position to be one of the best store managers in the area. It is great how supportive my Area Manager has been and continues to be.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
Initially it seemed a little disorganised however after the first 6 weeks everything seemed to improve the communication dramatically improved and has been much better ever since. The structure of the programme is clear and the goals are clear and normally achieveable. I had an occasion recently where something got in the way with my apprenticeship and my coach was very understanding and allowed me extra time to complete the module.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
My training provider has been very supportive. We attend the face to face training sessions and have regular one to one meetings and phone calls. Outside of those arranged times and dates I don’t tend to hear from him. However I am fully aware of I have an issue and contact him he will call or email me straight back which is great.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
My area manager has been great and highly supportive. He has made clear if I need any support just let him know. Or if there is anything he can do to assist let him know. He is very interested in the modules I am completing and likes to discuss these with me. He has said he can see a change in my behaviours which is great as it shows that I’m clearly role modelling what I’m learning.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
I am paid reasonably for my job role and the work I do. It would always be nice to receive a higher rate of pay however my pay and the training I am gaining is great for the area which we live in. The opportunities which are available within the coop are great in my opinion. An exciting time to work here.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
I’m struggling a little to understand this question if I’m honest. There are some great opportunities for hobbies outside work. And in the summer there are many opportunities for other work. However in the winter there are limited job opportunities on our area.
9. Would you recommend Co-op to a friend?
I have worked for the company for 14 years now and I have to say I enjoy my job most of the time. I work with a great team of people and have a great support network. We are treated fairly and paid well for the work we do. There are opportunities for career progression which for someone my age is a great aspect.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Co-op?
If you are looking for a job with great career prospects and decent salaries where you feel valued and appreciated then I highly reccoment a job working for the coop. After our difficult times back in 2013 we are now a thriving business and something great to be part of. I believe our top management team have a great vision and the ability to make it happen. Now is a great time to be part of something great.
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