Joss Johnson at John Lewis Partnership

Programmes Offered: Apprenticeship - Intermediate Level (Level 2) Degree Apprenticeship / Sponsored Degree (Level 6/7) Apprenticeship - Advanced Level (Level 3) Apprenticeship - Higher Level (Level 4/5/6/7)
Industry: FMCG & Retail Digital Media & IT

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Joss Johnson

Joss Johnson

Retail Apprenticeship

Throughout the last year I was on the Retail Apprenticeship Level 3 Scheme. I applied as an alternative to University as the size of student debt was ever rising and felt that, for me, the cost was too large, such as to draw my attention to a ‘Earn while you learn’ apprenticeship scheme. At the time of applying I already worked part-time in catering within my store and therefore knew about the progression opportunities within John Lewis and decided to use the apprenticeship scheme as the grounding for my career with the Partnership.

The induction process was an interesting time for me as I was the first apprentice for the Swindon branch, therefore there was a lot of interest around my role and my career aspirations from other Partners. This interest developed into a support network with section managers and shop-floor Partners alike wanting to support me towards reaching my goal.

The day-to-day life of a John Lewis apprentice is ever-changing, one day I could have been running a product promotion - in my case the UE Boom range - and the next I could have been doing research into a competitor's merchandising techniques. The varied lifestyle of the retail apprenticeship scheme made for an interesting and challenging year that is designed to keep every apprentice on their toes and hungry to progress.

My most exciting time as an apprentice I created a pitch for a product promotion - the aforementioned UE Boom range - which I was tasked with delivering to the Leadership Team in-branch. This was the first presentation I had ever done and therefore wanted nothing more than to impress the team. By involving activities and demonstrations into the presentation, the Leadership were impressed to the point that they decided to run the promotion, which resulted in a commercial success.

To become a high performing apprentice on this scheme it is vital that you exercise self-discipline and drive. These two attributes will help you to keep one eye looking forward on the next task but concentrating on the task in-hand as many of the modules throughout the course are closely linked. Thus, dipping in and out of different modules is a strategy I would encourage.

My top tip to anyone thinking of applying for the programme would be to never underestimate the support that is around you and to never be afraid to ask for help and really drive your own development throughout the course. Partners throughout and outside of the store will be highly interested in the apprenticeship scheme and how they can be a part in progressing one through it, therefore asking for feedback, and acting upon it is key.

My career prospects are to gain an understanding of store management and use this knowledge to further my career within a Buying role at Head Office. Therefore the apprenticeship scheme, with its focus on promotions, market research and networking to name a few, have helped me to understand how I can reach my goal.

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