The success of any business is defined by the quality, commitment and enthusiasm of its people. Here at Philip Morris & Son we have always invested in youth, and in recent years we’ve been lucky enough to recruit and train some exceptional apprentices. Many of whom are still with us, as they have made valuable contributions to the business in more senior roles. We find that recruiting and training apprentices helps keep the business young and fresh, with a constant stream of new ideas.
Have you ever thought of doing an apprenticeship but just aren’t quite sure if it is for you? Here are our apprentice’s stories so far…
Level 3 Apprenticeship Standard: Digital Marketing
Hamish came into the business as a young apprentice studying his Level 3 ICT Diploma. Instead of applying for a university degree he wanted to take the more traditional path of wanting to learn and earn at the same time. In Hamish’s eyes there is nothing more important than getting stuck in and obtaining valuable experience as soon as possible.
“I love working at Philip Morris. As my first proper job, I was treated with respect from the start, even though I had no previous experience. My ideas are listened to just as much as anyone else.”
It’s true, we value an apprentice’s opinion as much as someone who has been working here for 20 years plus. It’s important for us as a company to gather up all of the feedback that is given to us, whether it’s from our loyal customers old and new, experienced members of staff or work experience students etc. in order for us to grow and develop as a company.
In his current position his main roles include adding products to the Philip Morris and Son website, creating video marketing content, and working with a team to organise successful marketing strategies. Hamish is currently undergoing enrolment for an additional Google certification called Google Squared. This particular course will help Hamish get even closer to his goal of being a Chief Videographer – plus what a fantastic stamp of success to have on your CV!
Distribution & Warehousing NVQ Level 2
Will’s apprenticeship is helping him to achieve his dream job; Warehouse Manager. The main responsibilities within Will’s role consist of processing, picking and packing orders placed by our online customers. Every day Will is faced with the demanding responsibilities of a warehouse assistant.
“The main things I have gained throughout my apprenticeship so far are confidence and a professional attitude towards work.”
An apprenticeship is significantly rewarding from many different aspects; not only does it allow students to develop technical skills and workplace knowledge; it also encourages people to advance as an individual. We all work together as a team on a daily basis and support each other wherever we can; it’s what makes us a strong body of employees.
Distribution & Warehousing NVQ Level 2
Josh passed his Level 2 apprenticeship back in June 2016, which means that he is now a fully qualified Warehouse Operative. His main working roles include processing, picking and packing online orders.
During Josh’s course he successfully secured a very valuable qualification – a fork lift stacking certificate. Josh attended a one day basic training course so that he could use a fork lift in a professional manner; which will help him to progress further in the workplace.
“My apprenticeship has helped me gain a forklift stacking certificate and a good working relationship with others.”
Not only do apprenticeships allow you to obtain first-hand experience in a working environment, they also give you the opportunity to obtain valuable credentials. We cannot praise this portion of the apprenticeship scheme enough, as it enables individuals to fully commit to their career. So even though this was Josh’s first warehousing qualification, it has prepared him for a bright future in goods distribution.
Distribution & Warehousing NVQ Level 2
Matt is a perfect example of how an apprenticeship can lead to a career at the end of the course. He completed his apprenticeship two years ago and has stayed on to work at Philip Morris and Son full time as a Warehouse Operative. Like many of our apprentices Matt wanted to gain first-hand experience in the workplace:
“My apprenticeship has helped me to accumulate a great amount of experience in the work place.”
When Matt first started his apprenticeship his responsibilities included processing, picking and packing online orders, along with the task of handling items in the Goods In department. He now takes on multiple tricky problem solving tasks, along with managing a daily work load when his manager is away. It is a testament to Matt’s experience and maturity that his colleagues automatically look to him for help and advice whenever they need it.
ILM Level 5 Higher Apprenticeship in Leader Management
Alex has 2 qualifications under his belt and one on the way to being completed. He first started working at Philip Morris and Son back in 2013; between then and now he has achieved his Level 2 in Customer Service and his Level 3 in Business Admin. Alex has been promoted to Customer Service Supervisor which means that now he has acquired more responsibilities. Due to his promotion Alex has chosen to further his studies with an ILM Level 5 in Leadership and Management apprenticeship – which is as equally challenging as it is rewarding.
“I am looking forward to what the future will bring. I am eager to see how I am going to improve as a manager and within myself by studying the ILM course.”
When Alex was studying his Level 2 his job was to make and receive calls from customers and suppliers, process orders and email customers delivery information. Since he has progressed up the ladder he is now able to lead the Customer Service team and give them daily tasks to complete.
“Philip Morris and Son are a lovely family-run business, who are always willing to offer a helping hand when needed. Since I started in 2013, I have seen with my own eyes that the business has grown and transformed into a bigger and better company. I look forward to contributing to their success.”
The great thing about apprenticeships is that they can stem off onto other courses. The system enables students to follow multiple paths in order to get to where they want to go.
Customer Service NVQ Level 2
Sean’s job consists of dealing with phone calls from both customers and suppliers on a daily basis; which is a significant part of his apprenticeship’s criteria. Before working at Philip Morris Sean had previous experience within the workplace, but it wasn’t until he started working here that he realised that this is what he wanted to do with his future.
“My apprenticeship is helping me work towards future courses to improve my knowledge and confidence in this field.”
Once Sean has completed his Level 2, he wants to progress on to Level 3 in Business Admin – and maybe even move on to Level 4 in years to come. This is a slightly more complex course which will give him more responsibility in his role and allow him to develop his skills even further, along with gaining new skills on the way. We encourage our apprentices to always strive for more; we want them to get the most out of their education as it will only help them in years to come.
AAT Level 2
John is the current manager of the Hereford Snooker Centre, which is owned by the current managing partners of Philip Morris and Son. At an early age he decided that university wasn’t for him; John he wanted to further his skills in the work place, as he always possessed a more active approach to learning.
This apprenticeship path began just after he left college where he studied Machine Engineering. It wasn’t until more recently that he decided to return to education, and is currently studying for his AAT Level 2; focusing on accounting and book keeping. Once John has finished his level 2, he is keen on to move on to level 3.
Exceptional studies can lead to exceptional rewards. Back in 2015 he won an Outstanding Achievement Award, whilst this year he has been nominated for Apprentice of The Year. We believe that this is an incredible award to be nominated for, and we are extremely proud of John and his positive attitude towards learning. This just shows how committed he is to his apprenticeship and to his future.
Our apprentices are studying with the following:
TDM Wyre Academy – Offers specialised apprenticeships in IT, digital marketing and software development. They have an overall success rate of 93%, meaning that they are way above the national average.
HWGTA – (Hereford and Worcester Group Training Association) offers young adults the opportunity to work in local establishments to gain superior knowledge and first-rate experience.