2 July, 2019

How an Apprenticeship benefits our experienced colleagues

Simon has made his career at M&S. It began as a 17-year-old A-level student, attracted by our flexible hours and the rates of pay. Simon then joined the M&S team in his university city, before returning to the fold after graduating.

So, how has M&S supported Simon’s development?

“Firstly, by trusting me with responsibility,” he says. “Even when I was at uni, I was a store keyholder – none of my friends who had student jobs could say that. And when I came back as a Customer Assistant post-uni I was immediately challenged to progress to Section Coordinator. From there, I moved up to Section Manager in Foods at our Huddersfield store, where I’ve been for the past two years.”

It was shortly after becoming a Section Manager that Simon discovered he could take a Level 3 Apprenticeship in Retail Management at M&S. He saw what it could do for his career, threw himself into the programme and earned a Distinction. “Yes, like many I thought Apprenticeships were exclusively for school leavers. But taking the programme was the best thing I ever did. I’m soon going to be relocating to an M&S store in the North East where I’ll take the Level 4. It just goes to show, if you’re prepared to be mobile and work hard, M&S is prepared to invest in you.”

On his Apprenticeship, Simon learned all about store operations and how to manage £multi-million budgets, as well as developing his leadership and people management skills – with coaching and mentoring throughout.

“My Apprenticeship has inspired me to make my store even better and reach my next career goal,” he says. “It’s really given me different perspectives on what I do day to day and how I cope with the unpredictability of my role as a Section Coordinator. There are a lot of sides to my job, from looking after our customers and making sure colleagues have a great place to work, to health and safety and duty manager responsibilities. The Apprenticeship has helped me bring them all together.”

Simon's success story is just one of many at M&S. If you missed out on taking an Apprenticeship when you were younger - It’s never too late…

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