Apprenticeships - Mark's story
We have 100 apprentices working in all areas of our business - from retail and funeral services to human resources.
In National Apprenticeship Week 2022, we're sharing stories from our colleagues. Read what Mark has to say about his experience below.
Mark Turner – Store Manager, Scawby Food Store
Mark had 32 years’ experience in retail – including as a department manager – before redundancy meant he needed to look for a new job. He came to Lincolnshire Co-op as a Team Leader in November 2021 and is now the manager of our Scawby Food Store.
Despite his wealth of experience, Mark decided he wanted to progress his knowledge and understanding, so signed up to do the Society’s LEAP programme, which gives colleagues the tools to manage a food store successfully. The Level 3 Team Leader apprenticeship is also part of the course.
Mark wanted to use his experience to help younger colleagues on the apprenticeship and was able to learn from them too, such as by developing the technical skills required for presentations.
He hadn’t sat an exam since school but passed his apprenticeship with a distinction, and he credits the support from Lincolnshire Co-op and his tutors at Boston College who helped him prepare.
The pandemic proved challenging at first for Mark, as the learning was online and he was unable to meet face-to-face with the rest of the group. However, he learnt to adapt and had regular contact with his tutors over the phone.
“I’d encourage everyone considering doing an apprenticeship with Lincolnshire Co-op to go for it,” said Mark.
“It provides you with a qualification and opens doors to other opportunities. It also helps you develop valuable skills that you can use in everyday life, such as presentation skills. Personally, it helped me be sure that a management role was what I wanted to do too.”
Mark feels that due to being older than the rest of his colleagues who were studying the same apprenticeship had advantages – he had more confidence to speak up for example.
“I’d advise anyone on an apprenticeship to ask questions and you’ll get the most out of the experience. Nothing is a silly question!” he said.
“No one is too old to do an apprenticeship. I have the same enthusiasm as I did when I first started in retail and through experience, and developing myself, I’ve learnt how to channel my energy.”