Apprentice Partner Profiles

An Apprenticeship means having a real job from day one. Learning every day. Taking responsibility for the success of the business – and enjoying the rewards. But don’t take our word for it. Find out what some of our current Apprentices have to say.

Advanced Retail Apprentice, Women’s Accessories, Oxford Street

Nathan BradshawNathan Bradshaw

“After completing my college studies in English Literature & Language, I immediately gravitated towards starting a career in John Lewis as the Partnership has a lot of scope for development in retail skills. I was honoured to be selected out of 65 Apprentices to be filmed for a video montage which was used by Sir Charlie Mayfield during a speech he made in Brussels.

During my first year at John Lewis I took part in meetings, presentations, organising shop floor cover and re-merchandising products to high standards. Since completing the scheme I have gone on to working in John Lewis’ first pop-up shop ‘Home by John Lewis’, being interviewed by Larry Lamb for LBC Radio. This is all in addition to being elected as my department’s first ‘PartnerVoice’ representative, which allows me to take an active role in the Partnership’s democracy. I am currently taking steps towards moving up in the business and I look forward to securing a management position in the near future.

A few years ago, if someone told me that I would be delivering meetings and making speeches on behalf of one of Britain’s most successful retailers, I would have been shocked. The number of achievements I have made through the John Lewis Apprenticeship Scheme are endless and I have met amazing people that have inspired me to push myself to the best of my ability.”

Advanced Retail Apprentice, Menswear, John Lewis Cambridge

Katie McLoughlinKatie McLoughlin

“I am currently on the Level 3 Apprenticeship scheme after completing my A-Levels in Applied Business Studies, French, PE and Photography, in which I achieved 2 B’s and 2 C’s. I knew I didn’t want to go to university as I wanted to start my career without ending up with the debts of student loans. I had wanted to work in retail for a while; it is a relatively stable career path as there will always be retail in the world, whether it’s fashion or food and I know that John Lewis have an excellent reputation for looking after their staff. The Apprenticeship Scheme was the perfect answer as I could get on-the-job experience in the retail sector whilst gaining valuable qualifications which would be a springboard on to the next steps in my career.

I enjoy many aspects of my job and have had the opportunity of not only acting as a Selling Partner, but also taking on managerial and leadership roles. The opportunities I get are fantastic, for example I have just been voted as department representative for our branch council, ‘PartnerVoice’, which means I get to make a difference in my branch. I enjoy the variety that being an Apprentice at John Lewis gives me as no two days are the same. It is very rewarding knowing that a simple smile or piece of advice can make a customer’s day!

I am really excited about what the future holds for me at John Lewis and I am looking into further development schemes to get me to the level of Section Manager, which will further my career development.”

Waitrose Apprentice – Convenience store
“I always wanted to work in retail after college to meet new people, build relationships and make new friends. I also wanted to gain more experience for future employment. I have really enjoyed working for a reputable company. I really enjoy the Partnership ethos and being part of a co-owned business where we can enjoy the benefits. I have been surprised with how fast flowing the pace is in store and sometimes how demanding the job can be on a day-to-day basis. In convenience each day is different, one day I might be on checkouts or completing reductions and then the next day I could be behind the bakery counter making baguettes! I have gained a strong understating of how a supermarket operates and the specific routines that Waitrose have in place. I have also gained a retail diploma through this scheme.”
Waitrose Apprentice – Core store
“I never saw myself working in retail, especially with my construction background, but I never wanted to go to uni as it was too expensive, so was keeping my options open. I didn’t intend to work in a supermarket, but I found myself quite liking working with people. It’s nice to be on your own sometimes, and I like having the freedom to run frozen. It’s like my own little section where I’m kind of the boss. I was always on the wrong side of being on time when I was in construction, but you have to be on time at Waitrose, and stuff always needs to get done at a certain pace. Deliveries, racking away, putting stock out. And as I’m the only one most of the time, I have to be punctual. I was surprised at how many people it takes to make things run so smoothly, but it’s more noticeable when things go wrong. When a chiller or a freezer breaks down, or a customer order isn’t right, or even when we’re just simply out of stock of a product, is when you really see people come into their element.”

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