We are excited to be supporting National Apprenticeship Week 2024, an initiative that aims to shine a light on the positive impact that apprenticeships make to individuals, businesses and the wider economy.
Throughout National Apprenticeship Week, we are sharing a different Q&A with a current or former Steven Eagell Group apprentice on our blog and social media, showcasing the many benefits apprenticeships offer employers and individuals. Each success story will feature participants sharing insights into their experience of completing an apprenticeship.
Today we’re talking to Jamie Mitchell. Jamie started a Parts Advisor Apprenticeship in December 2023 and is based at our King's Lynn site.
Why did you apply for an apprenticeship at Steven Eagell Group?
After deciding I wanted to do an apprenticeship, I quickly came across a role at Steven Eagell Group as an Apprentice Parts Advisor. I did some research and discovered that the company has experienced lots of growth in recent years. I was also impressed with the highly rated reviews from people currently working at Steven Eagell Group, with many of the reviews highlighting the fact that employee well-being is prioritised. I decided that Steven Eagell Group would be a perfect fit for me to progress, both in a professional and a personal manner, and I therefore decided to apply for the Apprentice Parts Advisor position.
How did you find your apprenticeship and what did the interview process involve?
I came across the Parts Advisor apprenticeship at Steven Eagell Group while browsing for positions on online job application websites.
In terms of the interview process, I had a face-to-face interview at the dealership with the Aftersales Manager. After this, I had a phone call with the General Manager where we discussed the role in more detail. I then started the position a couple of weeks later.
What does a typical day look like for you? What are your day-to-day duties?
A typical day for me working at our Kings Lynn branch includes a range of duties. I usually start my day receiving parts deliveries first thing in the morning, after which I phone customers to notify them that their parts have arrived, as well as answering any enquiries we receive from customers via telephone or email. The rest of my day is typically spent preparing work for later on in the week, conducting daily stock takes to ensure there are no stock discrepancies and helping walk-in customers with any parts enquiries they may have, ensuring we meet their needs and expectations at all times.
How often do you attend college as part of your apprenticeship?
I attend college three times per year, each time for a one-week block as part of my apprenticeship. The rest of the time I’m based at our Kings Lynn branch, getting hands-on experience and developing my practical knowledge.
Are you able to put the things you learn at college into practice at work?
Since starting my apprenticeship, I have really been able to develop my communication skills. I’ve learnt the importance of building a good rapport with our customers, as well as the impact the way we communicate has on the customer’s overall experience of visiting our dealership. This is something I put into practice every day while working as an Apprentice Parts Advisor.
What are you enjoying most about your apprenticeship?
One aspect of my apprenticeship that I’m currently enjoying the most is working with our customers. A significant part of my role is to engage with customers and answer any parts-related questions they may have, either in person when they visit our branch, over the phone or via email.
I have already built brilliant relationships with many of our customers. I enjoy making their experience with us one to remember, something I achieve by working to improve the service I provide each time I interact with a customer. This increases the chances of them becoming loyal customers and means they are far more likely to revisit our dealership in the future.
What skills have you developed during your apprenticeship?
I have developed a range of really valuable skills since starting my apprenticeship that I believe will be extremely beneficial as I move forward with my career. This includes enhancing my communication skills, as well as developing my knowledge and understanding of vehicle parts, the behind-the-scenes running of an aftersales department and how to create long-lasting relationships with our customers.
What kind of support/training do you receive at work?
I receive fantastic support and mentorship from all of the colleagues I work with at our Kings Lynn branch. They have years of experience working in the industry and are extremely knowledgeable, so I can always go to them with any questions. I’m made to feel that I can approach them if there’s ever anything I’m unsure about and they are usually always able to help or know another member of the team who can.
Would you recommend an apprenticeship? If so, why?
Apprenticeships provide a great way to gain work experience while working towards a qualification. I would definitely recommend an apprenticeship to anyone looking to gain on-the-job experience.
To view all of our current vacancies at Steven Eagell Group, including apprenticeship positions, please visit our careers page here.
Keep an eye on our blog and social media channels this week to read more Q&As with current and former apprentices gaining hands-on experience across our business, as part of our support for National Apprenticeship Week 2024.