1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
my role when I started was equivalent to a store assistant. Working stock, placing orders if trained to do so, till work, and any other tasks that you may be instructed to do are all basic daily duties as well as many more.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learnt a lot. this includes stock taking, merchandising, management training, and much much more.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
This is where it gets complicated. On my first day of work nobody even knew who I was or what my role was. The apprenticeship was a new thing to Aldi. for he next two years I was basically a store assistant with a bit of deputy management training on an apprenticeship wage. that was all. new members of staff were starting on more than I was. on top of this I had exams and college work to finish. I felt very under valued especially as it is a three year apprenticeship. I finished my apprenticeship early as I managed to keep getting on top of my work of which I don't think Aldi were very happy about, weather that was because it meant that they would have to pay me a better wage or if that was a different reason I do not know.
4. How valued do you feel by Aldi?
As an apprentice I didn't feel very valued at all. Apprentices are off productivity in Aldi, so this means managers can abuse the system and put them in a lot to get the stores prod down. The wage is lower than than the other positions in the company. I expected this, but I didn't expect to be on a lower wage three years later than new starters. when the yearly bonus came around, apprentices were exempt from getting them. This made me feel very undervalued as even the caretakers got a bonus. only now that i have finished my apprenticeship do I feel like a normal member of staff.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
Not very at all. The programme is a retail one and the problem is is that Aldi is very different when it comes to some things. So for some of my work I had to do separate revision on other companies because mine couldn't teach me. The person in charge of the apprenticeship scheme was actually fired for not doing there job correctly and not replaced, so I had no leader to go to and talk to. My managers felt very let down as if I asked them questions they couldn't help me. I basically had to fight this apprenticeship all by myself. Communication between head office and the stores were shocking. sometimes they would forget to give me memos and exam dates.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
My training provider was fantastic, she helped me so much. I have learnt since finishing mine that Aldi is actually changing providers for some reason so I don't know how well that will go.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
None at all. I was meant to have a meeting every month with my area manger to discuss my progress. In two years I had two meetings with different area managers. In three years I have had three managers and five area managers so no one has really bothered or got to know me on that side as they are worrying about their own jobs. Aldi never sent me to meet up with the other apprentices so comparing progression was very difficult.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
Not very, I knew it was lower than basic pay, when I started it was £5 an hour which was acceptable for an apprenticeship. It was only when I realised other staff were on so much more that it bothered me. That I was exempt from a productivity bonus which all staff got. That I was exempt from a yearly bonus, of which all staff got. so it was really hard coping with the knowledge of that.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Outside of work not really no. Some people were offered to go to different stores but it depends where you are based.
9a. Would you recommend Aldi to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
I loved my job, but I hated the position of apprentice, I felt devalued and customers made me aware of it. many people would laugh and not take me seriously. especially at my age.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Aldi? *
Aldi is a fantastic company to work for. since finishing I am a deputy manager. I love my job and my duties. But the apprenticeship scheme is not very good. I believe I was one of 30 accepted apprentices when I applied in 2012. I was the first to finish in march 2015 and I believe only one other has finished. Most of the apprentices quit because Aldi ask so much of you but don't have the correct training for apprentices. so I would say apply on line as a normal member of staff, I dare say if I was not an apprentice I would have progressed through the company quicker than I did being one.
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