To mark National Apprenticeship Week, Victoria is sharing the stories and experiences of local apprentices and their employers.
Below are accounts from apprentices working with Karcher.
Business Administration Apprentice
“I joined Kärcher UK Ltd in 2016 as Business Administration Apprentice. I was 16 when I started and was placed within Business Support.
Whilst working on Reception/Business support I developed a wide range of skills that have helped me in so many more aspects of my life. The main skill that has helped me is communication which has also developed my confidence. When I first started within Karcher I was not a confident, out-going individual, however as my time went on within Business Support this changed and I now feel confident to talk to people I am unfamiliar with. Working on business support allowed me to build relationships with new people and gain an understanding of how the business works. It was a huge step going from school into the workplace, and building relationships with other colleagues made this transformation a lot less intimidating. I also developed my basic IT skills using emails, calendars etc daily. Being on Business Support meant that the team was the main contact for most people within the business, this meant that it was our responsibility to keep all personnel databases up to date. This allowed me to develop my organisational skills and improve on how to deal with pressure. This also allowed me to develop new skills such as prioritising and using my initiative to make sure that all work is complete and up to date.
At the end of my Apprenticeship I gained an NVQ in Customer Service and was offered a full time role within the Customer Service Team.
I now work within the Retail and National Sales Support Team. Within this team, I have my own Retail and National Accounts (e.g. Halfords, Travis Perkins) which I support through a range of tasks. It is our responsibility to process all orders, deal with all questions and queries in a timely manner, book orders in and ensure that all orders are delivered on time and in full. We provide an all-round service to our accounts and see all orders through from the point of receiving the initial call for a quote, processing the order, booking this in and ensuring delivery is on time, and we are all multi-skilled to help each other out if needs be. Our team also acts as the support for the other sales teams as we work very closely with our third party logistics company, so we are often their point of contact. We work closely and build relationships with the National and Retail Account managers to ensure all queries are dealt with appropriately. Our team also specialises in bulk deliveries, and all customer specialised requirements. It is our responsibility to maintain a product Matrix that is used throughout the business, so we must ensure that the information is accurate and up to date.”
“After starting my Apprenticeship in 2010, I now work within the HR department as HR Administrator. My main responsibilities are within Recruitment and Onboarding however I support the HR Director, HR Business Partner and HR Advisor. I started my Apprenticeship within Business Support and developed my organisational skills, gained a good understanding of the various departments and knew this was the company I wanted to progress in.
I really enjoy the diversity within the HR department and feel like I learn different skills every day. The company have supported me with a Study Program to enable me achieve CIPD level 3. Once qualified I would really like to progress to Advisory level”.
“Whilst finishing my GCSE’s I started looking around at what apprenticeships were available to me, in August 2017 I applied here at Karcher UK for a customer service apprenticeship, but my interviewer listened to my interests and ambitions and so suggested I might rather suit a marketing role, so they made me my marketing apprenticeship, I took on that amazing offer and did not look back.
I have learnt all aspects of marketing from digital, communications and product marketing as well as trade. I currently have the responsibly of dealing with the POS (point of sale) requests from our retail support team while working with our external store POS agencies. I also have the job of collecting all literature required for dealers, Area Sales Managers, our 3 centres and 15 DODO’s, depending on their target market or objective. When I took over the responsibility of all of the literature, I came up with the idea of an interactive PDF to ease and simplify the processes of ordering from both parties, this is now used throughout the whole of the company daily. I help co-ordinate events all across the country such as LAMMA in Peterborough, the Speed Machine festival in Silverstone and the Cleaning Show in Manchester. Despite these long hours it is so rewarding seeing the end result and having so much fun with the team.
I have developed so many skills while only being here 6 months, skills that none of my friends at sixth form or college have achieved there, from working in a professional workplace, dealing with time management and responsibility of me as well as my work. I use these every day of my working life as well as my marketing skills, such as more creative thinking, communication to businesses as well as consumers, analytical thinking and negotiation. As well as gaining the most important skills, working with industry professionals, gaining experience two years earlier than most as well as qualifications, I am earning my own wage. I am hopefully going to go onto level 3, then advancing to degree level in the future.”
“I am due to complete my apprenticeship in May 2018. I started my Engineering course nearly 3 years ago and have been really lucky to have worked both here in the Workshop and out in the field. I have worked with some of our larger products such as City Sweepers and have diagnosed electrical, mechanical and software issues.
I particularly enjoyed working in the Karcher Academy and was actively involved in project work.
I have already been offered a full time role as Field Engineer once I have qualified in May which I am really looking forward to”.
Business Support Apprentice
“My Apprenticeship Program with Kärcher UK Ltd started in 2017 when I was 16 years old. I was placed within Business Support and starting by working on Reception greeting customers, receiving calls and responding to emails.
I have developed various skills including how to deal with enquires from all types of customers face to face, over the phone and via email. I have also learnt how to sort incoming and outgoing post, keeping phone lists up to date, booking meeting rooms, ordering essentials for the work area and lunches. I have gained a good understanding of what each department does and have got to know staff quickly from seeing them come in each day.
Starting on Reception has given me a great foundation and I am now progressed to Credit Control to support my learning towards by NVQ in Customer Services.”