Thirteen of the wholesale sector’s brightest young talents were recognised for their commitment to the industry at the Federation of Wholesale Distributors’ Skills and Development Awards last night.
The apprentices and trainees were introduced to MPs at a reception in their honour on the House of Commons terrace. Anne Milton MP, Minister for Skills and Apprenticeships, presented them with a certificate to mark their dedication to building a career in wholesale.
She told the winners: “You are everything I want to achieve in my role as skills minister. Be inspired by what you’ve achieved, because there’s no limit to where you can go. Give back to the industry that has given you this opportunity. There’s no doubt that if we are to compete in a world market we need to develop our skills base, as you and your employers are doing.”
Several of those receiving awards had worked their way up from junior positions through apprenticeships and in-house training, and were now moving into supervisory or leadership roles. Others were graduates who were continuing their studies with the help of their employer.
Joan Ryan, MP for Enfield North, who hosted the event, praised the members of the FWD for their investment in skills. “The wholesale distribution industry plays an important role in our economy,” she said. “You invest in and upskill our workforce and create quality jobs. We can’t stop technological change but we can equip people with the skills they need for the future. Members of the FWD and the people they employ are at the forefront of making this happen.”
James Bielby, Chief Executive of FWD, added: “The aim of our Skills and Development Awards is to demonstrate to parliamentarians the contribution wholesalers make to creating sustainable high-skilled jobs for the future, and reward the commitment of some of the apprentices and trainees who are benefitting from that investment. It’s a great pleasure to introduce MPs to nominees from their constituencies and show them the diverse range of skills and the brilliant talent we have in the sector.”
The award winners:
Max Kerr and Michael MacFadyen Brakes Dundee
These two young men from Dundee are 18 months into their apprenticeships as LGV drivers. There’s more to the distribution driver’s role than driving, and these two have learned how to build relationships with customers, and to be the face of the company whenever they’re out on the road. Both are now flying solo on their own routes and making a huge contribution to the company.
Matt Ruffell Brakes, Ashford
Matt is a finance trainee studying for a CIMA qualification. The programme requires the graduate to move roles every year, and wherever Matt goes he fits in well with the team and impresses the leadership. He’s demonstrated his commitment to career development, balancing work and study, and he’s progressing well. He often gets recognised in the Company for going the extra mile and helping those around him where he can.
Sally Loizou Booker Enfield
Sally became a florist after leaving school before training in window dressing, and joined Makro to earn extra money for Christmas. She built her hours up to full time and in her 15 years has worked in most departments. Sally is a great personality in Makro Enfield and has a great relationship with her customers. She completed the Booker Greengrocer Training Programme last year; gaining the Silver award for her commitment and high standard of work along with the impressive results in her department. Sally progressed to complete the Butchery Training Programme this year and has surpassed herself, winning the Gold award this time! Sally is now being developed towards the next step and Supervisor/ Management level training.
Jordan Todd Booker Rayleigh
Jordan left school at 16 and started working in a fancy dress hire shop as an apprentice before moving to Booker 18 months ago. , She originally interviewed for a part time role working in replenishment on the shop floor, but the Management team were so blown away by Jordan’s bubbly personality that they knew she should be in a customer service role and so nominated her for the Fishmonger Training Programme. Jordan went on to complete the programme with flying colours and was joint Gold award winner at the graduation in September. She has been running the Fish department with her colleague and has done a fantastic job pushing the department forward and building a great reputation with her customers and Booker senior management teams alike!
Lyndsy Harrison Booker Rayleigh
Lyndsy worked for McDonalds for 10 years prior to joining Booker in 2015 as a Coffee Shop Assistant . She was great with customers, and wanted to develop further and so was nominated for the Fishmonger Training Programme. Lyndsy was a fantastic delegate on the programme and was nominated joint Gold award winner alongside Jordan. They have both worked brilliantly together, running the Fish Department at Makro Rayleigh and making a real difference to service, standards and of course sales.
Ryan Myatt Booker Portsmouth
Ryan joined Booker from school, unsure which direction his future would take him. He has grown in confidence and has impressed his Managers with his commitment and eagerness to learn. He made a superb contribution during the training programme and completed his workbook to a very high standard. Since joining the training programme, Ryan has made a significant difference to his department in Booker Portsmouth with excellent standards and execution of operational process. Ryan’s hard work has resulted in excellent performance in his department with sales and profit both having seen substantial growth. Ryan’s performance was recognised when he was presented as the Silver award winner at the graduation for this year’s Greengrocer Training Programme at the end of August.
Joanna Florczak and Tarsiar Cox, JJ Food Service Enfield
Joanna has worked for JJ for 11 years and Tarsiar for three, and they are both now studying Personal Profile Analysis. The course enables them to successfully recognise the importance of aligning people and teams with the business strategy – increasing employee satisfaction and employee productivity. As a result of the training, Joanna and Tarsiar have been able to employ, retain and develop the right people for the right roles helping to drive the business forward.
Elise Rawlins Bidfood, Langley Mill, Nottinghamshire
Elise joined Bidfood in September 2016 as a Sustainability Apprentice. This was a brand new role and provided an exciting opportunity to join the Sustainability team at Bidfood reporting into the Head of Sustainability. During her first 6 months with the business she has shown great initiative and made the role her own. She is the key contact for our network of 79 Sustainability Coordinators and a great inspiration to them. Elise has arranged two sets of regional workshops for the coordinators and designed and delivered presentations for the first time as well as organising for external speakers to attend and support the events. Elise is Bidfood’s ambassador at internal and external events promoting what is expected of her role, how it can be enhanced and how the scheme operates.
Jenny Williams Costco Manchester
Nisha Davatwal Costco Birmingham
Sharon Woods Costco Bristol
All three of these leadership trainees started their career at Costco in lowly roles – as a café assistant, a service deli assistant, and a vault clerk. Each has worked their way up through the ranks and into supervisory roles. They have been nominated by their warehouse manager for training on the Costco University 101 Leadership course. This will give them valuable career skills including the role of the supervisor/manager, Communicating for Results, Managing for Performance and Effective Teamwork.
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One of the most enjoyable events in the wholesale event calendar is the annual FWD Skills and Development awards for apprentices and trainees. The pre-Christmas awards season seems to gro