One of the UK’s leading manufacturers of home improvement products has celebrated more than 15 years of backing apprenticeships by offering employment to six young people.
Conservatory Outlet, which employs more than 120 staff at its Thomas Wharf Lane factory, invested more than £130,000 into nurturing future talent over the last twelve months by continuing to offer access to vocational learning opportunities and ongoing professional development.
This has resulted in Kyle Green being offered a full-time role in IT Support and Natalie Bossons, who joined in 2019, now working as an Order Processor and developing her knowledge further by undertaking her Team Leader Level 3 qualification.
Eliza Auty, Kennedy Goodwin, and Georgie Tolley have all taken Order Processing positions, whilst Missy Mortimer has just completed her apprenticeship in December and will continue to help drive the firm’s strategic marketing strategy in 2023.
(L-R Back Row) Ben Bradbury, Ben Strutt, Samuel Allen and Joshua Childe. (L-R Front Row): Eliza Auty, Missy Mortimer, Natalie Bossons, Karla Watson, and Georgie Tolley
Karen Starkey, Head of HR at Conservatory Outlet, commented: “We are one of Wakefield’s largest employers and believe it is critical to continue to offer new opportunities to local people.
“As we continue to grow, we have to look at ways of developing our staff and we have found apprenticeships are the best way of doing this, with the latest tranche of young people qualifying and taking on full-time roles.”
She continued: “The sizeable investment allows us to develop the individual in the ‘CO’ culture and we have a long and proven track record of offering progression routes that lead into senior positions.
“Our approach will continue in 2023. Two new apprentices have just started with us, with Ben Bradbury and Sam Allan studying towards their Business Admin Level 3 and AAT course respectively.”
Apprenticeships are one element of a strategic training programme operated by Conservatory Outlet.
In addition to vocational learning, the Wakefield-based firm also offers ongoing pathways for staff keen to progress and develop new skills.
This ranges from putting Joshua Child through his AAT and Karla Watson working towards her CIPD Level 3 (both at Wakefield College) to Ben Strutt (Business and Professional Administration Level 4), Jo Davies (Maintenance and Operations Engineering Technical Level 3) and Nikki Lewis undertaking her Marketing Manager Level 6 Apprenticeship.
Karen went on to add: “As a business, we are always trying to push the boundaries of what we can achieve, and we can only manage this by investing in our people and futureproofing their skills.
“This was reflected in 2022 when we invested a further £100,000 into creating a new sales training academy, a move that was in response to a shortage of new talent coming into the industry.”
She concluded: “We have extended this offer to all our retailers, and this is steadily developing new individuals that will hit the ground running when they join our sector.”
Conservatory Outlet is one of Yorkshire’s fastest growing manufacturers, supplying a range of conservatories, doors, extensions, orangeries and windows, with the latest advancements in UPVC, composite and aluminium technology regularly added to its ranges.
The firm continues to support the Conservatory Outlet Network, which comprises 29 leading regional retailers, and this has helped increase turnover by 20% since 2020.
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