How My Star Led to the All Stars

Posted on: 17th Nov 2017 by: Pride & Joy Clothing

Lewis Baker, apprentice at Pride & Joy and inspiration for the All Stars Awards in association with Bus and Coach Buyer Magazine

We talk to Jane Phillips and her current apprentice, Lewis Baker, who was the inspiration for the Pride & Joy All Star awards.

Pride & Joy MD, Jane Phillips understands the benefits of employing young people in her business, "We have employed a few apprentices over the years, not all have been well suited, but when you do discover a gem, then you really can see a future for them in terms of progression and you also see a future for the business.

"Lewis joined us more than 12 months ago and he has just completed his apprenticeship in mechanical engineering and about to start his next NVQ level apprenticeship in team leadership.

"I didn't think I was able to do this job at first," says Lewis. I studied mechanical engineering at college, which gave me a good grounding in manual working with machines, but didn't prepare me for the computerised equipment.'

"With any young person fresh out of college, they don't know what they will be good at, whether they are capable of doing that job. They don't come ready packaged with the skills you need. You have to be able to identify with them and find a way to get to know the person." says Jane.

"Lewis found it incredibly difficult to articulate what he was capable of doing, because he has never done this sort of job. We talked to his tutor though and we met Lewis a number of times to get to know him.

Jane continues, "We have to dig a little deeper, because you've also got to get past the barrier that is their lack of self-confidence. It is only to be expected and indeed I have my own very painful memories of what it was like to go for my first ever interview because I had so little experience of life back then. We just have to put ourselves in their shoes and imagine what it must be like.

Once past the interview process, the hard work really started for Lewis, "I found it difficult in the early days of just going to work for eight hours a day. To have to concentrate and learn in a new environment, where you don't want to make a mistake, because it matters, you don't want to let people down.

"I've come on a long way since I started, I have learned to be more confident in myself.  I used to be scared of making a mistake and wouldn't ask anyone for help. Jane knows I can do nearly everything that is required of me now. My duties now also include office work, inputting invoices and organising sales orders, I'm enjoying this part of my work now and Jane is helping me to develop my skills in this area.

"My next challenge is to build up my confidence in dealing with people and so the next stage of my apprenticeship is team leadership. I am looking forward this because confidence is just about knowing how to do something. I've got my head around working with the machines, now I've got to learn how to manage the people!

"Jane has really helped to increase my confidence, she has given me more responsibility overtime and her faith in my abilities is encouraging.

"Investing time into training is our biggest challenge as it does take time," continues Jane. "On the upside though, I think it has given our mature members of staff a new lease of life as well because they feel proud and responsible for the outcome of their training.

Lewis has a bright future ahead of him, he has pushed himself and always wants to get it right and make a good impression. He shares our values and because we are a small business he can get involved in the decision-making process which has helped him grow in confidence. Lewis is a solid and reliable member of the team and has proven his worth over and over again and that is why he is the inspiration behind my All Stars awards.

Pride & Joy All Stars in association with Bus and Coach Buyer magazine recognises the work of young people working in the UK bus and coach industry and and shines the spotlight on those with the potential to be the leaders of tomorrow. To make a nomination click the image of Lewis above and you will be directed to a downloadable nomination form. We will be selecting our November winner very soon.

Tags: Bus Coach Apprentice, Coach and Bus Buyer, Pride & Joy, Bus and Coach Buyer Magazine,