In light of National Apprenticeship week, our Head of People, Leanne Jones caught up with Bradlee Cherry, Plant and Transport Coordinator. Bradlee joined ReachActive in January 2017 as an apprentice and has recently progressed in to the role of Plant and Transport Coordinator. We hope you enjoy the read.
Plant and Transport Coordinator
Apprenticeship title & duration?
My apprenticeship was in Business Administration, it was a 1-year course which I completed successfully.
How long have you worked for ReachActive?
Around 14 months. My position was made permanent after the completion of my apprenticeship. I have been employed on a permanent contract with the company since January 2018.
Describe what you do on an average day
I work in the Plant and Transport department, I arrange commercial vehicles, up to 7.5 ton. I also support the team with general administration such as checking driving licenses, arranging vehicle repairs, running driving reports and statistics and I also look after invoicing for the department. I currently support the UK and Irish operations.
Why did you decide on an apprenticeship?
I wanted to do something different and learn life skills. I had worked alongside my Dad growing up and it gave me some good exposure to working life. I had also previously pursued mechanics at college but I didn’t like the course or the classroom approach. I tried it twice, and dropped out twice. I had also studied business at school and found it interesting. This seemed like a hands-on approach, learn and work. It was a bonus that I would be paid for it! I must say, it did take my family to push me towards applying for the apprenticeship, there was a time I wasn’t sure if it was for me. But I am really glad I did, I love it.
Had you been interviewed for a job before?
This was my first real interview. I was interviewed by my current manager, he is the company Plant and Transport Manager. I remember feeling nervous about it all but luckily it went ok and I got the job.
How did you decide that the opportunity here was the best one for you and your career?
This was one of two opportunities I had to choose from. Joining ReachActive allowed me to learn something new, a massive industry with a wealth of opportunity in it. I get the impression that people don’t initially appreciate how many opportunities this industry creates. That was a huge factor in my decision making as you never know what is around the corner and I wanted to maximize my learning and the opportunities ahead of me.
What are your career aspirations?
I would like to work abroad, somewhere in Europe or in the USA. I have always liked Germany as a country and would like the opportunity to learn that language. I would like to progress in to a management position over the next 5-10 years but am planning to keep learning and play that by ear for now.
How have you grown since you started working for ReachActive?
I have opened up as a person, I am now much more confident. When I first joined the company and my phone would ring, I would sit and stare at it until it would stop as I was too nervous and shy to talk to anyone. I am still quite quiet but I have no fear with regards to communicating or interacting with others any more.
What were your biggest challenges throughout the apprenticeship?
Due to my confidence issues I found getting used to new people hard. I struggled with writing emails effectively and not letting my emotion rule the tone of my messages. In my position I make and receive a lot of calls and emails so the biggest challenge was doing this effectively and finding confidence when it was lacking. I also found the industry confusing at times, particularly at the beginning although I soon picked it up and became a lot more familiar with
What advice would you give to others who are considering an apprenticeship but are not sure if it’s the right way to go?
I would advise that you should consider the pros and cons to all of the opportunities in front of you. Also consider what options could open up the most doors for you as you progress. Ultimately, it’s about being happy with what you do, finding a company to support you and who will let you learn from your mistakes but equally it’s about enjoying the job role. Not pursuing a mechanics career could have been a risk for me, but I made the decision to try something new. Give it a try and stick with it, you may well discover a bunch of skills you never knew you had.
If you knew then what you know now, is there anything you would do differently?
I would use my confidence to speak up. I was always too scared to bring an idea to the table as I wasn’t sure if anyone would listen.
What’s coming next?
I hope to get more involved in the coordination of larger vehicles and car fleet. I want to continue learning as much as possible and keep growing as an individual. I would like to visit work sites more and get closer to the workforce.
To apply for a specific job vacancy or to speculatively reach out to us, visit www.reachactive.com/careers or contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Our roles are based across a variety of UK sites (London, Hertford, Basingstoke) and Ireland sites (Dublin & Mullingar).
ReachActive are an equal opportunities employer.