Thirty-four Apprentices and graduates at James Hall & Co. Ltd have had their outstanding achievements recognised at the company’s Learning and Development Awards.

Held at the company’s Bowland View distribution centre in Preston, it was the first time the ceremony has been held in three years because of the pandemic, and it was a welcome return to recognising the efforts of employees in their professional development in person.

Achievers collecting their accolades work across a range of business areas within James Hall & Co. Ltd including Retail, Trading, Supply Chain, Warehouse, Marketing, Store Design, Accounts, and Health and Safety.

Those completing qualifications this time had undertaken 3,400 direct hours study and 1,165 hours workplace training, with James Hall & Co. Ltd supporting career development through more than £200,000 of investment.

Anna Bamber, 27, Marketing Coordinator for James Hall & Co. Ltd’s company owned SPAR stores division, was one to collect her award after completing her Level 6 Marketing Manager Apprenticeship with Distinction.

Anna said: “I found my Apprenticeship to be hugely beneficial as I feel much more confident and equipped in making strategic marketing decisions.

“It has also developed my marketing knowledge as I have covered a range of topics including digital marketing, communications, consumer behaviour, brand management, and more.

“I would highly recommend an Apprenticeship to anyone to gain real life experience complemented by study, and I’m already embedding my learning into the marketing team and adding value to the business.”

Paul Coward, 47, who won the Higher or Degree Apprentice of the Year Award at the Lancashire Apprenticeship Awards in April, was another to be celebrated after achieving his Level 5 Operations Manager Apprenticeship with Distinction.

Paul, a Health and Safety Officer, said: “I started working for James Hall & Co. Ltd more than a decade ago in food production and I have worked my way up through the company to my current position.

“I owe my career progression to Apprenticeships and opportunities the company has provided me, together with my hard work and determination to provide for my family which is what you need to succeed.

“The style of learning on Apprenticeships really suits me and it has enabled me to better demonstration my abilities as an individual and what I can bring to the business. I would recommend an Apprenticeship to anyone wanting to advance their career while continuing to work.”

Olivia McNally, 24, has had two promotions in the time she completed her Level 4 Retail Manager Apprenticeship and is now Store Manager at SPAR Radcliffe.

Olivia said: “I chose to do my Apprenticeship when I was offered it because I saw it as an amazing opportunity to earn while learning, and progress within the company.

“I feel like I have really benefited from it through the theory I have learned and the skills I have developed, and I’m definitely a better and more confident manager as a result.

“I would encourage anyone offered to complete an Apprenticeship to further their career to jump at the chance because it is rewarding and has already twice delivered career progression for me.”

Emma Rowles, 42, is Learning and Development Manager at James Hall & Co. Ltd, and is currently doing a Level 5 Learning Development Apprenticeship. She said: “We understand the need to continuously learn and develop at James Hall & Co. Ltd to support the career development of our employees.

“We consistently create opportunities for those with ambitions to succeed and currently offer 24 Apprenticeship pathways from Levels 2 to 6. We currently have 90 Apprentices on programme and have ambitions to grow that number.

“There has never been a better time to do an Apprenticeship, at whatever age and at whatever stage of your career. They have more value behind them than ever before in terms of industry input and the end point assessment that Apprentices now must complete.

“I would like to congratulate all of our achievers and look forward to seeing how the knowledge, skills, and behaviours they have acquired through their Apprenticeship are applied to drive James Hall & Co. Ltd forward.”

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