Katherine is our longest serving apprentice. She’s doing a Customer Service Level 2 apprenticeship, and she’s also a qualified Medicines Counter Assistant. Before her apprenticeship, Katherine was a pupil at Cleeve School, studying Applied Science and Health and Social care A Levels. She also worked in Huffkins bakery and was actively involved in The Jockey Club.
Why did you choose to do an apprenticeship rather than go to Sixth Form, university or straight to work?
I was unsure about what I wanted to do. When I found this apprenticeship, I thought the course outline was interesting and it was local to me.
What sparked your passion for the apprenticeship you are doing?
I’ve really enjoyed the opportunities I have been given by doing the apprenticeship, and I like learning while on the job and using that to get a better experience.
What is your dream career and how is your apprenticeship helping you work towards this?
I’m not sure what I’d like to do but from working here I have been given opportunities to improve my learning and understanding of what goes on behind the scenes in a pharmacy.
What do you do in your day to day role and what new skills have you learned so far?
I talk to customers and staff, and my day to day role includes dispensing prescriptions [under the supervision of the pharmacist] and dealing with customer queries. I’ve found that my confidence has greatly improved since working here.
What’s been the best thing about your apprenticeship so far?
I was awarded the Rising Star award at the 75th anniversary party which was a great achievement!
What to do you plan to do once you complete your apprenticeship?
I’d like to do some more training within the company.
And finally, why would you recommend doing an apprenticeship to other young people who might not be sure of what route they want to take?
It is a good opportunity to learn new things and earn money for it. It’s similar to going straight into work and gives you extra experience.
Pharmacist, Charles Badham, is Katherine’s line manager, so we spoke to him about what it’s been like to have Katherine in the pharmacy:
How has your apprentice improved in the time they’ve been working for you?
Katherine has completed all her courses and is very good in the dispensary. She copes well under pressure and is quick and accurate. (She’s also an ETP [Electronic Prescriptions] Queen!)
What has the apprenticeship programme meant in terms of helping your store run smoothly?
Katherine is now a vital team member at the Bishop’s Cleeve branch. She is very flexible and able to help in dispensary but is also able to work in other areas of the shop if needed.
What can you offer an apprentice who starts working for you in terms of contact time, advice, general help etc?
Courses are available if our apprentices are keen to proceed in the company. There is also support to complete them and they gain lots of experience while working with us.
Are you proud of your apprentice and what they have achieved?
Katherine has done very well. She is quick to learn and is keen to work and do any task asked of her.
What are your hopes for your apprentice?
I would like for Katherine to complete her dispensing course and to go on to the ACT course to become an Accredited Checking Technician.
For any more information on apprenticeships or our current vacancies, please contact Head of HR, Cherie Andrews, on 01242 898712. If you’re considering applying for an apprenticeship but would like to talk to a current apprentice about their experience, we will be more than happy to talk with you.