1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
Shop based work with a variety of rolls on a multiskill basis, this can be simple stuff like restocking and working the tills, to helping out with setting up new displays, helping out the new and part time staff or office/financial back off work. A very customer focused role.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learnt a lot more about people/personal management and about the different forms of team development and how people interact. I also learnt a lot ore about the theory of retail and the different studies and papers that have been done on it, and how these have become unofficial retail practices to follow.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
This was less of an intensive apprenticeship than many, and was designed to be done in small parts during work time, and much of the initial work was using the online resources to research and revise the knowledge to be learnt for the end assessment, which obviously is not going to be that exciting. But that said it was not all uninteresting and my tutor was very friendly and nice to work with.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
Pretty clear set and understandable, first part consists of using the online resources to study and practice said knowledge with your tutor, as well as displaying that you can to your employer. When that part is done you move onto organizing/completing a project to be worked on, which then becomes the basis for your final assessment.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I have to say in the first half of the course I did not get much in the way of support, but this was partly due to several changes in managers some of which were not very interested in helping or checking on my progress. However in the latter part of last year we got a stable management team who were ready to assist me and give me the time to do things.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
My tutor was very friendly and willing to help, she would promptly answer texts, phone calls or emails when required, and we had chats either in person or on the phone generally at least once a month. The resources site did have some chat areas and mods who could be messaged if need be, but I personally did not use these. Some of the learning materials varied in quality, as in some didn't feel entirely relevant or wouldn't load, but only a very small number.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
My day to day duties and behaviour have not really changed much in any way, but I know the theory and understanding of what I'm doing much better now, and I do have more knowledge of helping and coaching people now, or doing their reviews. I can feel more confident in commanding a team.
8. Are there extra-curricular activities to get involved in at your work? (For example, any social activities, sports teams, or even professional networking events.)
No. That's not to say there are no events ever, there's always an Xmas party and stores are welcome to arrange their own events using the social fund or self financed. But my store does not have meetup events often, though we do do leaving parties for long term members.
9a. Would you recommend Wyevale Garden Centre to a friend?
Pay is decent enough for retail, and the's a nice variety of roles to be performed. Obviously your hours and what you do depend on the manager, but you can learn quite a few multi roll skills, from shop work, kitchen work and how to look after plants. At my store too at least it not to draconian and there is a friendly relaxed atmosphere.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Wyevale Garden Centre?
Show willingness to want variety in your roll and be flexible in your working hours. Show off your knowledge of plants or if not knowledgeable then your customer service skills, as you will almost always be working with nor near customers. The company is actually being dismantled at the moment, so new vacancies are unlikely.