The future looks bright for Meadowhall Apprentices

20th June 2016

Two apprentices from The Source Skills Academy have gained permanent jobs at Meadowhall after impressing bosses with their eagerness to go above and beyond when it comes to customer service.

Reece Gafaar and Jordan Anderson have both been offered permanent contracts at Meadowhall after completing their Retail Level 2 diplomas and have their hearts set on furthering careers with the shopping centre. Paula Windle, Meadowhall Centre's internal services manager said, -These two young men came to us eager, keen and with very open minds to customer service training. -They went above and beyond from Day One. As they progressed through their qualification they went from strength to strength in their delivery of quality customer service and when vacancies arose in March we invited applications from across the teams. Reece and Jordan applied and interviewed really well. We were delighted to offer them permanent positions with us. Reece, 18, from Sunnyside, Rotherham, is now a valued member of the reception careline team, situated in Meadowhall's Management Suite. Commenting on Reece, Paula said, -During his apprenticeship Reece worked in numerous departments, including, HR, Marketing, Retail Liaison, Customer Services and Reception -Now his task is to ensure visitors to the Management Suite receive the warmest welcome and a professional service. -He is an absolute star. We are so proud of how he has developed. He is about to study for a football qualification and in his own time will work with other Meadowhall colleagues as a coach with Darnall United, a youth team funded by British Land and delivered in partnership with the local safer neighbourhood team to help reduce crime. His commitment makes us even more proud. Jordan Anderson, who is now employed as a Customer Service Assistant, has also deeply impressed Meadowhall staff with his aptitude and his rapid surge in confidence. Paula also said of Jordan, -He is virtually unrecognisable from the Jordan who first walked through the door. He was very quiet but we could see his potential. He had a twinkle in his eye, a lovely, dry sense of humour and a way of getting on with people of all ages and backgrounds. -He immediately demonstrated maturity and a desire to engage with new tasks and swiftly won the respect of the team through his helpfulness and willingness to assist wherever he could. -He has worked across all our customer service sites and is wonderful with customers. They absolutely adore him and he is a valued member of the team. Jordan, 18, of Clifton, Rotherham, has his sights set on a career as a security officer at the Centre and in his own time has recently gained a qualification accredited by the Security Industry Authority. Paula continued, -The future looks bright for Jordan. We are really proud of him for passing his qualification and look forward to assisting him in his goal. The former apprentices are delighted to get permanent positions. Reece said, -I knew I wanted an apprenticeship while I was still at Wickersley Sports College. I signed up with a scheme but wasn't happy and had left. It took me a few months to find one at The Source. It has been brilliant for me. My tutor Jayne Marsden gave me loads of support and at Meadowhall apprentices are treated the same as any other member of staff. I learned so much there and am ecstatic to now have a permanent job. I would love to further my career at Meadowhall and also continue my training and development. Jordan added: -An apprenticeship paid off for me. I always wanted to work and learn at the same time and doing that has got me a permanent job. The former Oakwood School student added: -I chose a retail apprenticeship because I had enjoyed my Saturday job at Next. The training and experience has made me more confident and I hope one day to move into the security team at Meadowhall. It's a great place to work. The Source Skills Academy tutor Jayne Marsden, who assisted Reece and Jordan with their training, commented: -I have so enjoyed helping these people learn and grow and am delighted they now have permanent employment at Meadowhall. Their confidence has grown incredibly and their apprenticeships will help them carve out successful futures, as skills learnt in retail and customer service come into almost every job. The Retail Path project is funded by British Land and the British Council of Shopping Centres Educational Trust (BCSC). Retail Path is the retail property industry's apprenticeship scheme operated by the British Council of Shopping Centres (BCSC) Educational Trust and National Skills Academy for Retail. The scheme delivered onsite at Meadowhall Shopping Centre by The Source, a member of the National Skills Academy Network provides the apprentices with a 360-degree perspective of life within a shopping centre. It aims to give them practical experience in the different specialisms required to efficiently operate a shopping centre, from centre and facilities management to sales. Retail Path was set up in 2014 to address the issue of youth unemployment and to encourage more young people to consider a career in the retail property industry.

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