9 March, 2018

APPRENTICESHIPS AT THE SHARP END OF RETAIL MANAGEMENT

Jamie completed the M&S 12-week A-Development Programme. After he was appointed to a live role as a Section Manager, the next step was to take the M&S Retail Leader Level 3 Apprenticeship. Over the programme’s 18 months, he’ll be in the thick of things and taking real responsibility to develop the skills to be an effective and inspirational team leader.

Ashbourne is a large format Food Hall and Jamie is Finance & Operations Section Manager. “I lead a team to deliver a smooth store operation and manage costs to protect profitability,” he says. “I could be hands-on with my team in the warehouse, undertaking personal development reviews, probing sales figures or looking at stock or till losses.”

What Jamie loves about his job is that every day brings a fresh challenge. His role can be quite technical, with responsibilities ranging from cash management and warehouse operations to food safety. This gives both Jamie and his team the scope to stretch themselves – but his role can evolve beyond finance and operations.

“At any given time, I could be duty managing the store,” he explains. “That would mean taking responsibility for the safety of customers and colleagues and responding to incidents, which can range from the routine to the more serious.”

No-one is better placed to weigh up the merits of taking an Apprenticeship or going to university than Jamie. “As it goes, I did attend uni and worked in the field in which I trained. However, I had to change my plans to care for my family and took a part-time job at M&S, which really sparked my interest in retail. Now, I love the flexibility of my Apprenticeship and how it allows me to work, earn and learn. It gives me access to the career I want without doing a degree.”

Jamie was attracted to the pace of retail, and to M&S in particular because of our history and culture. “M&S was always the brand I associated with quality when I was growing up, whether I was buying my first suit or a dine-in to impress a girlfriend!

When I joined, my expectations were linked to my experiences as a customer. I’ve discovered we’re not just about turning a profit. What counts is that we do business in a way that is ethical and sustainable, putting the customer at the heart of everything and delivering amazing service.”

Jamie’s grateful for the support he’s been given on his M&S journey, whether that’s encouragement from his managers on the A-Development Programme, time away from the shop floor to focus on his Apprenticeship, mentoring, coaching or workshops. Now he’s giving his time to others.

“I try to inspire my team to develop themselves and I’m really pleased that two of my direct reports have successfully applied for advancement in the business. I’m proud that my passion for M&S has rubbed off on others.”

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