Workaholic apprentice goes ‘back to school’ thanks to Midland training group PTP

A retail apprentice overcame his concerns about taking tests to complete a retail course with distinction, thanks to top Midlands training company Performance Through People (PTP).

With his new-found confidence, Jamie Nixon has now set his sights on successfully completing a manager’s apprenticeship, also with PTP, part of the BCTG Group.

Jamie, a self-confessed “workaholic” from Snodland in Kent, has worked at Parkfoot Garage & Convenience Store in nearby West Malling from when he was still at school.

He was offered a full-time job at Parkfoot while still at sixth form and has since gone from shelf-stacker to supervisor at the independent family-run store, which operates a petrol station, jet wash, grocery, butchers and bakery.

Jamie, aged 32, who is married with two children, said: “Our supplier, A.F. Blakemore, offers apprenticeships to independent stores they connect with, and Parkfoot then offered it to me.

“I decided it would be a great to do the Level 2 Retailer apprenticeship as it would increase my knowledge of the sector.

“It also meant I had to re-do my GCSE Maths and English, which was a big worry for me as I don’t really do well at tests.

“But with the help of my PTP tutor Vanessa Langford I was given the confidence to get the tests and the rest of the course done.”

Jamie’s apprenticeships were provided through a partnership that PTP has with A.F. Blakemore & Son Ltd, the Black Country-based national grocery supplier.

He completed the Retailer Level 2 course with a distinction mark and was immediately offered a Level 3 Manager apprenticeship by A.F. Blakemore, which he began in August.

He added: “I found the first course extremely helpful and have been using my new skills at work, so I thought why not take the next step with the higher apprenticeship.

“My confidence is much higher due to the first course, and while I’m very comfortable where I am, another qualification will give me more options and opportunities in the future.”.

Jamie explained that his knowledge of office procedures was now at a level where he understood what things affect the business financially.

He added: “Passing English and Maths has given me a boost as I know that putting my mind to something can show great results.

“I would highly recommend the apprenticeships which open your eyes to many areas of the business.

“The PTP tutors are great, and Vanessa’s way of teaching is excellent: she was always available and was even happy to answer my calls when she was away.”

Simon Tufill, Parkfoot store manager, said: “Jamie has worked for us for many years, and the chance to improve his knowledge through these apprenticeships will greatly increase his productivity.

“His leadership skills are great but, with his new knowledge, he’s leading his team even better and passing on the knowledge to younger team members.”

Vanessa Langford, learning and development tutor at PTP, said: “Jamie is a perfect example that you can take on an apprenticeship at any age.

“Despite the experience he has gained from 15 years in the retail trade, there was still plenty for him to learn through his Level 2 Retailer apprenticeship, and I am delighted that he did so well.

“We wish him every success on the Level 3 Manager course he has just begun.”

Ends (550 words)

For further information, please contact:

Gill Durkin, Business Executive

Phone: 01543 460050  Mobile: 07734 814905


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Note to editors:

PTP Training Ltd is part of the BCTG Group, a West Midlands-based training organisation which supports almost 10,000 young people and adults each year.

The group has ten sites in Birmingham, the Black Country, Staffordshire and Newcastle-under-Lyme, and also includes The Apprenticeship Works, BCTG Ltd, Eurosource Solutions and Further Training.

Overall, the group offers 166 different types of apprenticeship, 84 different adult upskilling and reskilling courses and 27 pre-apprenticeship programmes for 16 to 18-year-olds. These include everything from healthcare and early years care to construction, engineering, manufacturing and logistics, through to business skills in IT, management and team leading.