Thu, January 5th, 2017
Wild Thang show the long term benefits of hiring an Apprentice
Apprenticeships are about much more than just getting young people into jobs - they can have a transformational effect on a business, as Andrew Dwerryhouse will testify to:
Andrew founded Liverpool-based Wild Thang as a micro business 20 years ago with a £1,500 grant from the Princes Trust.
The company started off printing t-shirts and, two decades on, it now manufactures and supplies a full range of branded marketing materials to major clients including Sky Bet, Paddy Power, Wembley Stadium, Liverpool and Everton football clubs, and many more.
The business turns over £2m a year and employs 32 people and, according to Andrew, it is those people that have been key to its success.
For the past decade Wild Thang has partnered with Liverpool and Sefton Chambers of Commerce to offer apprenticeship opportunities to around a dozen young people.
Star apprentice has been Stacey Seary who came into the business 10 years ago as a nervous 17-year-old and, with the help of both the firm and the Chamber, has become a highflying executive and a huge asset to the business.
“We see training and staff development as being absolutely key to our future growth as a business,” said Andrew.
Stacey, he said, had been a perfect example of someone who had demonstrated an energy and willingness to learn and had become a key figure in Wild Thang’s growth.
“She started off on reception and we were always proactive in pushing her to get the qualifications to help both her and the company.”
With the support of the Chamber, Stacey has successfully completed NVQs in business administration and business management up to level 4.
She started off working on reception and performing basic admin duties and has risen to become a senior sales supervisor.
Drive and energy
“I think you have to work really hard, show up on time and in the early days I was always proactive and I would ask for things to do,” said Stacey.
“I always wanted to learn and develop and show I was enthusiastic and that is why I am where I am now.”
She added: “I remember going into the sales office for the first time and that was quite nerve-wracking working with the directors and speaking to clients on the phone.
“The management NVQs I did through the Chamber in the last few years have really helped me grow my confidence.
“The people who helped me were amazing. and every single day I feel like I am learning something new. I am so happy that I came down this route and I wouldn’t change anything.”
Invest in young people
Paul Cherpeau, Director of Learning and Skills at the Chambers, said they currently had 350 apprentices placed with 180 employers across the Liverpool city region.
“In partnership with local employers we want to invest in young people, giving them a chance to learn and develop on the job and undertake valuable qualifications.
Wild Thang are a great company for giving apprentices that opportunity, investing in their development and rewarding them for it.
“For us it is about increasing the quality and quantity of apprentices going into work opportunities with local businesses.”
If you think your organisation could benefit from an Apprentice, or are interested in finding out more information about Apprenticeships, contact Liverpool Chamber on 0151 227 1234