Conservatory Outlet invests £130,000 in apprentices

(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

Conservatory Outlet has invested over £130,000 into vocational learning opportunities and ongoing professional development over the last year. Thanks to the manufacturer’s support, its latest batch of apprentices have qualified and taken on full time roles.

Kyle Green who been offered a full-time role in IT support and Natalie Bossons is 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. Missy Mortimer has just completed her apprenticeship in December and is set to continue to help drive the firm’s strategic marketing strategy in 2023.

Karen Starkey, head of HR at Conservatory Outlet, said: “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.

“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.”

In addition to vocational learning, the firm also offers ongoing pathways for staff who want to progress and develop new skills. This ranges from putting Joshua Child through his AAT and supporting Karla Watson in 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 added: “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. 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.”