Shropshire Star

Ladder for Shropshire: Business shares apprenticeship success story

A business has urged other employers to take on apprentices after sharing its own success story.

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Operations manager Jessica Mason with business administration apprentice Sadiya Chowdhury

Unvented Components Europe, based in Chirk and a supplier of plumbing, heating and unvented cylinder spare parts, took on Sadiya Chowdhury on a business administration apprenticeship with support of the Ladder for Shropshire and training provider SBC Training.

The business has been so impressed by Sadiya that it hopes that it will develop into a full-time role for her at the end of the apprenticeship.

Operations manager Jessica Mason said: "Bryan, managing director of Unvented Components, and I were looking to expand the company and grow the sales team.

"This created a gap for a receptionist/admin role and after preparing an initial job description we realised it would be an ideal opportunity for an apprentice.

"The role we envisaged had room for growth and progression, and would benefit from someone who could pick up new skills quickly and learn on the job. We also have a range of staff here with both the aptitude and enthusiasm to pass on their knowledge to someone just starting their career.

"Sadiya was very impressive at her first interview. As well as strong school results, she showed a keen aptitude to learn and impressive self-assurance. The role we were advertising required someone with a good telephone manner and confidence to deal with customers from day one. We believed Sadiya had the capability for this and over the past few months here communication skills have gone from strength-to-strength.

"Sadiya has settled in fantastically. She has displayed excellent professionalism and maturity, and has adapted to every challenge she has encountered. Her progress in such a short space of time has been wonderful to observe and she has already become an valuable member of team."

Jessica said they found the whole process very simple and were lucky not to have to wait very long before finding the right candidate.

"Having decided to advertise for an apprentice, we were advised by word of mouth to contact Ladder for Shropshire. Once we did this, the process could not have been easier. The job was advertised for us and potential CVs were screened for suitability before being sent through by email. Once we received Sadiya’s details we knew straight away we wanted to interview her and after meeting her we offered the job straight away.

"I would absolutely encourage other employers to offer apprenticeships. I’ve been really impressed so far by the skills apprentices learn to complete their portfolio and this has enabled Sadiya to quickly take on lots of different tasks, working with numerous departments. Having someone eager and quick to learn is fantastic for the company and we have every hope that this will develop into a full-time role at the end of the apprenticeship," she added.

Sadiya decided to go down the apprenticeship route after realising college wasn't for her.

"In school they mentioned apprenticeships when they were discussing career options with us but I did not take any interest in it. I went to college and realised college wasn’t for me. After doing some research I started to like the idea of an apprenticeship so I went ahead and contacted SBC Training when I saw on Facebook that they were a training provider for apprenticeships," she said.

"I wanted the experience of working in an office environment and after doing some research I found out doing an apprenticeship would be my chance to gain the experience, skills and build my confidence.

"The recruitment process was simple and straightforward. I contacted SBC training, they took the details they needed from me. Not long after they got back to me with apprenticeships they were advertising for business administration. I chose Unvented Components Europe and SBC helped me and got me an interview with them."

Sadiya said she has settled in well in her new role and has urged other young people to consider taking an apprenticeship.

"On the first day everyone was very welcoming and I continue to enjoy going to work. My line manager/mentor Jessica has been very supportive throughout my time here. If I need anything I know I can go straight to her. The office is a fun environment and I am really enjoying it.

"I would definitely recommend an apprenticeship to others. As well as gaining experience in your chosen role and developing your skills, it builds your confidence in a supportive environment. Going down the apprenticeship route has to be one of the best decisions I have made for myself," she added.

Having recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary, Unvented Components Europe has grown to become one of the UK’s leading online specialists in plumbing and heating spares and experts in unvented hot water cylinder systems.

From its head office and warehouse on Gledrid Industrial Estate, it sells through multiple channels online, including its website, Amazon, eBay and ManoMano, and offers expert technical advice to homeowners, plumbers and merchants alike.

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