National Apprenticeship Week 2023

Beginning life as an Apprentice within a company is an avenue that many young people pursue. It allows them to immerse themself into the working world, whilst gaining qualifications and putting their learning into practice.

UK Government stats show that participation in apprenticeships by those aged 19+ in 2021/22 was 613,900, which was an increase of 3.3% from the previous years figure of 594,400. Looking into it further, the total number of adults participating in further education and skills was just over 1.7 million in 2021/22.

This years theme is ‘Skills for Life’, reflecting on how apprenticeships can help develop the skills and knowledge required for a rewarding career, as well as helping businesses develop a talented workforce that is equipped with skills for the future.

Working with the next generation is something which we feel passionately about at James Burrell and currently we have 4 Apprentices working across the company; one of which is coming to the end of his apprenticeship and we’re delighted to say has just received his permanent contract for the next stage in his career with James Burrell.

Leon, who works in branch sales at our Stockton branch, has just signed his official contract after completing his apprenticeship. He has used his transferable skills through his learning and has fully integrated into the team.

We caught up with Leon to find out a bit more about his life as an Apprentice and some words of advice for anybody thinking about starting an apprenticeship.

1. What does your role involve?

My role as an Apprentice mainly consists of serving all the customers on the counter whether they be trade or non-trade. As well as being on the counter, over the time I have been pushed on to do other little jobs such as invoicing and most recently the banking. When I’m on the counter I have to ensure I provide quality service but at the same time ensuring I make a good sale for the company.

2. What’s your favourite thing about being an Apprentice?

My favourite thing about being an apprentice in the area of work that I’m in is the people I work with as well as being able to just learn on the job rather than being in school or college where you get taught in a different way. As well as this I like the fact I am in a normal work routine of five days a week and then I get my weekends to myself.

3. What do you enjoy most about working at James Burrell?

There are a few things I like about working at James Burrell’s, but I think the main one would have to be how they treat you as an employee. I have worked in a couple places before I started here and none of them are anywhere near the level of honesty that James Burrell’s gives you as an employee, you're seen as a member not just a number.

4. What would your advice be for someone thinking about starting an Apprenticeship?

I would say personally it is the best thing you can do if you're anything like me who prefers to learn on the job and be in a normal working routine of five days a week, 9 hours a day. Not only that but it is a great stepping stone to get yourself into the normal world and start acting a bit older rather than being a kid.


Keep an eye out for our next instalment as we catch up with another of our Apprentices as we celebrate National Apprenticeship Week.