Lydia has been nominated by our training providers Avanta to be featured in their marketing campaign for National Apprentice Week. Last year she was nominated for Apprentice of the year, as they were so impressed by her.
Here is the article that was featured......
An Apprenticeship helped Lydia Jones from Stockport go from packing envelopes to managing worldwide orders – all before her 18th birthday.
Lydia, from Stockport, started off at Cheshire greeting card publisher, Paper Salad when she was 16, putting the finishing touches to cards before packaging them up. After completing an Apprenticeship at the company in September 2013, she now looks after the worldwide distribution of greeting cards, gift wrap, and stationary.
When Lydia left school in June 2011, she started working at Paper Salad full time.
“I started off by sticking glittery shapes to the cards and then packing them with an envelope and cello bag. I was in most days and became familiar with the company.”
Then in September 2012, Lydia was asked if she would like to do an Apprenticeship in team leading. Karen Wilson, Director of Paper Salad worked with Avanta Assesor, Carol Cullen to identify Lydia’s training needs and set up the Apprenticeship, including an NVQ 2 in team leading.
Karen Wilson explained: “I was initially concerned about giving such a huge responsibility to someone so young, but Lydia has proved herself to be more than capable. She deals with key accounts such as Waitrose and Paperchase on a daily basis and also helps to look after our worldwide distribution to 10 countries – quite an achievement for an 18 year old!
“Lydia has become a great asset to our company and we will even go as far to say that she is probably the best member of staff we have employed in eight years of trading.”
Avanta support every step of the way Lydia was determined to succeed in her Apprenticeship and was supported, every step of the way by Carol who helped her to develop her experience and skills. Lydia’s job is now hugely varied and she is entrusted with a variety of work and responsibilities. Lydia said:
“On a daily basis I am responsible for dealing with emails and phone calls from our customers and suppliers; this includes small card and gift shops but also large customers such as Hallmark, Sainsbury’s, Waterstones and Paperchase. Other jobs I have to deal with on an everyday basis include organising print runs, ordering stock for the warehouse, booking in all orders and chasing payment.”
Dream job “I love that I have seen the company from different angles, starting off from packing the cards myself to dealing with the customers on a daily basis. I love seeing both of the directors designing the new cards and seeing the process of getting the cards printed, packed and then in the shops. It is great seeing the final product on the shelves knowing that the team and I have worked hard to get it there.”
Career benefits Lydia says she can already see the benefits that the Apprenticeship will have later on in her career.
“Working at Paper Salad is a huge opportunity and a great experience which would help me in any work situation. I have learnt how to speak on a professional level and deal with problems which could have a large effect on our company. Throughout my apprenticeship I have learnt not only how important it is to work as a team but also how to manage people and how to use my time wisely to meet deadlines. I am looking forward to my future here with Paper Salad and all the forthcoming challenges and opportunities that lie ahead with this trendy, fast moving company.”
More than 750,000 people of all ages are training as apprentices because two-thirds of them will end up with a permanent job with the employer they started with.
Here at Avanta, we offer a number of apprenticeship programmes and work with employers nationwide to help people get on the career ladder.