Students enrolled on the 26-week Pre-Apprenticeship Routeway programme experienced the whole retail process from when products first arrive at the warehouse to when they leave in shoppers’ bags.
And after being taken on a guided tour of the store on St Andrew’s Avenue by personnel manager Kris Edmonds, learners were so inspired by the visit they applied for posts within 24 hours.
Lucy Ely, 17, said: “Kris told us about all about the ins and outs of working at Waitrose and the way the company is run as part of the John Lewis Partnership.
“It was clear that the store is run a very caring and protective way and that Waitrose really looks after its staff extremely well and is a good company to work for.
“It was certainly a really useful experience which I can relate back to my learning on the Pre-Apprenticeship programme.
“I’m really interested in working in the retail industry and as soon as I got home I applied for a job at Waitrose!”
Kris said Waitrose was pleased to be able to support the development of the retail learners.
“We really enjoy taking part in activities like this which help young people in the local community to understand how our business operates with great success,” he said.
Paul Woodwards, delivery manager at TBG Learning which has its centre on Portal House on Southway, said the visit was a real eye-opener.
“Waitrose do a lot of work with the local community and we really appreciate them giving us the opportunity to see how the business operates,” he said.
“It was a great way for our learners to pick up value experience which cannot be taught in the classroom as they work towards earning a valuable qualification, and ultimately employment.”
It was certainly a really useful experience which I can relate back to my learning on the Pre-Apprenticeship programme.
I’m really interested in working in the retail industry and as soon as I got home I applied for a job at Waitrose!
Lucy Ely, 17