Mark Ashworth, MD at Stockport’s ABM Electrical Wholesale Ltd, members of the IBA buying group, has a few words of advice on apprenticeships:
“In wholesaling there’s never enough time and 101 excuses not to do something. But I can honestly say that taking on an apprentice through the EDA has been a much easier process than I had anticipated.
“My advice to other business owners is give it a go, tap into the expertise that comes with your EDA membership and reap benefits for your business.”
New recruit Joel Pastore, 18, (pictured above serving on the trade counter) became ABM’s first apprentice when he joined them in early 2018 through the EDA’s Apprenticeship Programme.
Here Mark picks up the story behind the new hire.
Talent for growth
“ABM is a family business and we have a long-term strategy for growth and that means we have to plan how to develop a talented team and apprenticeships are very much a part of that strategy.
“We’d like to grow our branch network, and for that we need a team we can rely on. I like the idea of being able to develop the ABM team our way and apprentices help us do that because it’s a combination of a qualification and on-the-job training alongside our established ABM team.
“The EDA service was easy: Louise at EDA Apprenticeships Plus was very helpful. They ran the recruitment campaign for us and we interviewed some good candidates, but Joel stood out. He was both well prepared and well presented. He didn’t need to be an expert in our business, he needed to show willing and that’s why he got the job.”
And the experience is just as good for the lucky candidate.
“I don’t have a favourite part of my job,” says Joel, “because I enjoy all of it.”
Joel is training for his 12 month apprenticeship for Warehousing and Storage Apprenticeship Level 2, one of the hundreds of apprenticeship options available in England.
Above: MD, Mark Ashworth, helps Joel to develop his skills and knowledge.
Joel spotted the ABM opportunity on the National Apprenticeship Service website, where all apprenticeship vacancies in the England are published, while working for a shipping container business.
“I was looking for a career move and this opportunity just caught my eye. It was local to me and something different,” he explains.
“I start at 8am checking our stock levels in the warehouse, receiving deliveries and making up orders. I didn’t have much knowledge about electro-technical products when I first started but I’m learning fast. There is always someone to ask – I have mentors who I can approach. When I’ve finished my apprenticeship, I want to progress, to keep learning and moving up, perhaps into sales.”
Above: Joel checks a customer’s order.