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10 Feb 2021

National Apprenticeship Week – hear from QED’s Apprentices.

QED Stand: 3a/B48

Matt Philp, Managing Director, QED, said: "We're strong believers that young people who choose a different path to university are just as capable, and rooted deep in our business values is supporting young people to excel not only in their area of study, but in life. In fact, a lot of our young workforce began their journey with us as apprentices: each now on their own paths, thriving in their own amazing way!"

Meet Olivia Fishwick - Marketing Executive

As the writer of this article, I'd like to take a moment to shine light on the incredible support QED have offered me over the past 4 years. In January 2017, I started the business as a Marketing Apprentice after studying A-Levels. From the get-go, QED trusted me in my role. They gave me responsibility over the social media channels, editorial writing, the blog, video editing, digital design – they let my creativity run wild with no leash. This is the sort of trust young people need in business: the opportunity to showcase what skills and talents they can truly bring to a business, propped up by the business's unending support and willingness to help us apprentices learn.

In August 2018, I made the decision to return to University full time to take on the challenge of self-employment. Even after my apprenticeship, QED were like my second family. They supported me, offered self-employment advice and asked if I'd like to work flexibly for them once a week alongside my studies!

Fast forward to the present day–February 2021–and the company remains a huge cheerleader for my future aspirations and goals. Makeup artist, blogger, writer, marketeer–whatever career I decide, QED are always there supporting me. I know for sure that this support is the main reason I've just accepted a full-time role with them for after University.

Meet Jack Gilham - Product Engineer

"I study BSc Digital and Technology Solutions at the University of Central Lancashire. This degree covers a variety of topics within Technology as an industry but focuses specifically on Systems Analysis and Design, Programming and Databases.

At QED, I use these skills to better develop internal systems for more efficient business processes. I design and create bespoke software solutions within QED's ERP system and create business analysis and reports from QED's extensive database.

QED have helped me acquire the skills I need to develop as a businessperson and supported me throughout my degree apprentice journey; offering plentiful advice from project ideas to applying academic knowledge in the real world."

Meet Iasmina Oprea - Business Admin

"Ever since childhood, I have always been a hands-on person, with the thought of sitting down for hours on end never appealing to me. However, I looked into apprenticeships at Preston College and knew immediately this provided everything I wanted in terms of education blended with hands-on learning.

I did try college for a year. I just knew it wasn't for me; even though I tried really hard to endure it. What made things worse for me was lockdown, however, I do believe this helped me realise sitting for hours doing online lessons just wasn't right for me. So, I left college and began my hunt for an apprenticeship, knowing full well that's what I wished to do!

QED have helped me in many aspects such as adapting into adult life after education, evolving my communication skills and encouraging me to come out of my shell and meet new people. It takes me a while to get out of my shy stage but working at QED has already started to bring out the best of my bubbly personality."

Meet Joel Smith - Warehouse Assistant

"University was never something that interested me; so, I started at QED as a Sales Administrator Apprentice in 2016. I wanted to work and having the opportunity to learn simultaneously alongside work was the perfect opportunity for me.

I may have started my career at QED in Sales, but their constant support and encouragement when it came to discovering what I love most allowed me to find my feet in the Warehouse team where I am now a full-time Warehouse assistant. I'm big on progression; continuing to learn about warehouse operations and logistics. I'm currently a part of updating the bar-coding system in the warehouse which will help streamline our operations, improve efficiency and benefit the customer massively."

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