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National Apprenticeship Week 2023: Meet the Accu Apprentices!

National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) is a UK Government organised event occurring every February in celebration of apprentices across England. 2023 marks the 16th National Apprenticeship Week celebration, with the theme being “Skills for Life”; aiming to highlight the value of apprenticeships and how they encourage people to develop the skills that they need for their future careers.

In partnership with Kirklees College, Accu offers a range of apprenticeship opportunities throughout the business. Whether it’s delivering an excellent customer experience in our Customer Satisfaction team or creating models and drawings in our Engineering team, our apprentices help to bring our customers' ideas to life. 

Apprenticeships are an ever growing and integral part of Accu’s future and, as we continue to expand, we hope to bring a wealth of new opportunities for apprentices.

Our Co-Founder, Martin Ackroyd shared “We want to create an inspiring workplace that encourages everyone to learn, innovate and grow. In recent years we have partnered with Kirklees College to offer more apprenticeships with the goal of upskilling people from the local area and investing in future generations.

Having personally taken the apprenticeship route myself, I am grateful to be able to provide the next generation of young talented people with the same opportunity. National Apprenticeship Week is a fantastic opportunity for us to celebrate their achievements.”

Alastair Morris, our Managing Director (UK), also reflected, “As a young and incredibly fast growing company, Accu is a great fit for ambitious people looking to learn on the job. 

Bringing young people into the company early in their careers allows us to familiarise them with Accu as a business, our components and our processes, whilst also helping them to develop the skills they need for the future.” 

What Our Apprentices Say About Working With Accu

Ahead of National Apprenticeship Week, we sat down with a group of our apprentices to learn all about their experience. 

Lily - Junior Merchandiser

“I’m Lily and I have just finished my Level 3 Business Administration Apprenticeship with Kirklees College and Accu.

Leaving University I didn’t have any office-based experience and I thought that an apprenticeship would provide me with the skills that I need for my future career.

At Accu, I have been able to develop many skills, including my coordination skills, communication skills and ability to manage internal processes.”

The work that I was doing at college also complimented my real-life experience as an apprentice at Accu. I could understand the aspects of the business that I was learning about and apply these to real-life situations to better understand why Accu makes certain decisions.

If you learn from first-hand experience I’d definitely recommend an apprenticeship. Being able to apply theory in practical situations is really worthwhile.

Now that I’ve finished my apprenticeship I feel positive about my future with Accu. There are a lot of exciting changes happening in the company and I’m excited to be involved and take on new challenges.”

We are delighted to share that Lily was named regional winner of the Apprentice Endeavour Award at the Make UK Manufacturing Awards 2023.

Find out more, here:

Lily Wins Make UK Regional Apprentice Endeavour Award

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Lewis - Apprentice Merchandiser

“I’m Lewis and I work in Accu’s Merchandising department and I’m working towards my Level 2 Customer Service Practitioner qualification with Kirklees College.

I’m a practical learner, and perform much better when I can learn from real life experience as opposed to a classroom, that’s why I wanted to do an apprenticeship.

Learning whilst you’re also working for a business gives you the opportunity to develop skills that you wouldn’t always know you needed, like first hand team working, working to deadlines and the general processes of a fast-paced business. I have also been able to see how different teams work together to run the business seamlessly.” 

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Nick - Apprentice Innovation Engineer

“Hi, I’m Nick, I’m an Apprentice Innovation Engineer at Accu. I’m doing a Level 3 Technical and Product Design Engineering qualification at Kirklees College as my apprenticeship. 

I wanted to do an apprenticeship because it meant that I could get straight into work whilst gaining my qualification. It’s probably one of the best things about being an apprentice is that I can do that whilst being full time employed.

The Innovation Engineering department works to improve our products and processes. I work with many teams across the company producing drawings and models for the website. One of the things that I am currently working on is employee training where I plan, organise and run various training sessions for all of the business to keep us up to date on our components.

My apprenticeship has taught me to be a lot more creative. For example, when developing training on components, it’s given me the chance to learn a lot about different engineering techniques and information as well as learning a lot about the components that I’m actually delivering training on. I love to see ideas come forward and be able to work on projects that I can be proud of. 

Innovation is a small team with quite a fast paced workload. The workload is shared really well and the team always appreciates when I have college work to do so that I can factor in time to get this done.”

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Evie - Customer Satisfaction Apprentice

“I’m Evie, one of the Customer Satisfaction Apprentices at Accu. Once I had left school, I didn't want to go back into full time education and wanted to gain real work experience, so I chose to do a Level 2 Customer Service apprenticeship.

My day to day role includes taking customer phone calls, responding to customer emails, creating quotes and orders, sorting returns and replacement orders and communicating with our couriers.

For me, an apprenticeship has allowed me to be more grown up, with more independence. I like that I am doing something different to many school leavers that go to college full time and that I can gain real life experience whilst working towards a qualification.

My confidence has also grown a lot since becoming an apprentice. I’ve developed IT skills, how to work better as part of a team and how to manage my time effectively.”

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Ethan - Customer Satisfaction Specialist

“My name’s Ethan, I work here at Accu in the Customer Satisfaction team and I’ve recently just completed the Customer Service Level 2 apprenticeship at Kirklees College. 

For me, I thought that an apprenticeship would be the better option because I’d much rather get real life working experience rather than being sat in a classroom. It also has a good mix of on-the-job training but also a bit of the theory side which I do one day a week at college. It has given me the opportunity to learn and earn at the same time and I think this allowed me to learn a lot more, especially when I’m working at a great company.

I have been able to develop my people skills in a first-hand environment. From verbal communication with colleagues and customers to writing professional emails, an apprenticeship has allowed me to practise skills that you aren’t always prepared for at university.

When I first started my apprenticeship, I expected to learn a lot and I certainly have. Now that I’ve finished, I feel very prepared and confident to take on my role as a full-time employee.”

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Jessica - Apprentice Application Engineer

“I’m Jessica and my role at Accu is Application Engineering Apprentice. I am currently working towards my Level 3 Technical Support qualification at Kirklees College. 

After spending two years at college, I decided to do an apprenticeship. Technical Support was an area that I was interested in and I thought that an apprenticeship would be a great way to gain experience.

In my day-to-day role, I make CAD requests, quotes and talk to our customers and manufacturing partners about our range of products.

One thing that I really enjoy about being an apprentice is that I can work in a team and learn from first hand experience as I study.”

Learn more about Jessica's apprenticeship journey, here:

Shaping the Future Of Engineering: Jessica’s Journey As An Apprentice

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Charnelle - Customer Satisfaction Apprentice

“My name is Charnelle and I’m a Customer Satisfaction Apprentice at Accu. I’m currently working towards my Level 3 Customer Service qualification with Kirklees College. My role here is providing quotes, taking orders and answering any enquiries that a customer may have to do with the components we sell.

I’ve always known I’m more of a hands-on learner which is why I thought an apprenticeship may be the best option for me. It helps me learn on the job whilst building the skills I need for the career I want in the future. 

I knew the career that I wanted to work towards and thought that an apprenticeship would allow me to focus on one thing rather than other routes where I might receive information that I wouldn’t necessarily use. Being an apprentice has also allowed me to establish a relationship with Accu where I can learn and develop with the company.

So far, the best thing for me about being an apprentice is the confidence it’s helped me build and the fact that I’ve been able to experience what it is like working in the real working world. Working in such a progressive company, that’s always growing, has really helped with learning the systems that I may have not learned in previous roles. I am treated like an adult with real responsibility and it really prepares you for the future.

I have the opportunity to learn about all aspects of a business, the small but important things, like forming professional emails and using spreadsheets and key skills for my role such as the legislations behind customer returns.

I’ve been really supported throughout my apprenticeship, my manager and colleagues are always available and eager to help me perform to the best of my ability. As the company has a four-day working week, I can manage my workload from college much more efficiently and I have a great work/life balance

The company is very employee focused and encourages us to develop our skills. There are many opportunities for training and a lot of room for me to grow and progress.”

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