Hollie Short, Invoicing Apprentice, Head Office, Stockton-on-Tees
National Apprenticeship Week 2021
Here at Pickerings Lifts we’re celebrating National Apprenticeship Week 2021 by introducing you to our lift, loading systems, escalator, and mobility apprentices.
Apprentices are an important and valuable part of our ongoing strategy to future proof our workforce.
Hollie Short is an Apprentice Administrator, in our Central Services Department (CSD), at our Head Office, based in Stockton-on-Tees, in the North East of England.
She joined Pickerings Lifts in July 2019, and has since completed her NVQ Level 2 Business Administration course. She began a new course in October 2020.
Hi Hollie. Can we start with what the name of your new course is, please?
“Sure. It’s an NVQ Level 3 in Business Administration. It’s the next step up from the qualification I began working towards when I joined Pickerings Lifts. Being here has allowed me to work, gain experience, earn money, and improve my knowledge.”
What is a typical working day look like for you? Can you tell us, please?
“Day to day, I invoice a variety of different customers. Some days I’m focusing on specific geographical regions, say Scotland, London, or the South West, but on other days I concentrate on invoicing specific customers, usually multi-site national customers, or bigger organisations such as councils or hospitals. And all the time, I’m dealing with inbound customer queries along the way.”
What is the most interesting thing you have worked on/memorable experience at Pickerings Lifts?
“Currently, I am training on a new account with a large retailer. I’m enjoying learning how to navigate their customer system, because their system is entirely new to us, and I’m looking forward to the challenges that that will bring.”
What has changed about your role since the Covid-19 crisis?
“[Intake of breath] Well, due to COVID, my workload’s increased. As you’d expect! I’ve taken on new accounts and have had to adapt to a different work environment, with several members of the invoicing team working from home whilst shielding. It’s been a big challenge, but we’re coping. Let’s hope it’s going to start to return to some sort of normal this year! It seems weird to say, but a big benefit of the situation is I’ve also had the opportunity to train with other departments, such as Procurement, and that’s allowed me to gain a better understanding of how Pickerings Lifts functions.”
How are you finding your studies and work during the pandemic?
“We’ve all experienced changes, haven’t we? It’s been a balancing act between work and studying, but the other members of the invoicing team are always really supportive of me in all aspects of work, including my college studies, and I’m really thankful for that!”
What do you enjoy doing when not working?
“Pre-COVID, I enjoyed travelling with my partner, Danny. We love to go to new cities and countries, which we hopefully be able to do again soon, in the near future. Fingers crossed!”
Investing in young people
We view apprenticeships as an investment in young people that will reap dividends for Pickerings Lifts far into the future. By providing apprentices with the skills and knowledge necessary to work within the lift industry, we are equipping them with a vocation that will help them throughout their lives. At the same time, we’re helping to secure a stable, reliable, and highly educated workforce, trained in the Pickerings Lifts methods and values.
Pickerings Lifts currently has 11 apprentices working for us, and as you might expect with a national company, they’re spread out across the whole of the UK.
Equally, because we install, maintain and repair all types of lifts, and all these activities have to be managed and co-ordinated, our apprentices have a wide range of job descriptions too. Just a few of the apprenticeships we offer include administrators for human resources, business operations and our fleet department. We also have lift engineering apprenticeships in our business streams, lift maintenance and repair, loading systems and escalators.
The Institute for Apprentices and Technical Education apprenticeship training
Pickerings Lifts helped create the new apprenticeship standard that is revolutionising the future training of lift and escalator engineers.
The ‘Level 3 Lift and Escalator Electromechanic Apprenticeship Standard’ was approved for delivery last year, and was the result of a trailblazer group which included Pickerings Lifts, the Lift and Escalator Industry Association (LEIA) and several other companies in the lift and escalator industry.
Rachel Swales, HR and Training Officer at Pickerings Lifts, attended the trailblazer group on behalf of the company, and commented…
“This new standard ensures thorough, high quality apprenticeship training. It results in well-trained engineers with solid foundations set for a successful career in the lift industry.”