For Lewis, an apprenticeship with Arnold Clark was the ideal way to help customers while building a stable and long-lasting career
How long have you been an apprentice and what drew you to an Arnold Clark apprenticeship in the first place?
I have been an apprentice for a year and three months. When I heard about the Arnold Clark apprenticeship programme, I saw that this was a fantastic opportunity to develop myself and put myself on a career path where I could help people. Knowing that there is a clear progression for me and that there was an infrastructure in place for a stable career was also a huge plus for me.
What are your duties as an apprentice and what qualifications will you earn?
As an aftersales customer advisor apprentice, I help customers with their problems and connect them to different departments to resolve their issues as quickly as possible. This means that I coordinate with different departments across the Group and help to find ideal solutions.
My role requires me to communicate with the customers as efficiently as possible, giving them updates quickly and letting them know what the best options are. It also involves mastering the various digital systems used at Arnold Clark, as I need to be able to access information as quickly as possible.
The apprenticeship is based both in branch for on-the-job training, as well as at GTG Training for theory work, and I’ll earn my digital application support SCQF Level 6 qualification and customer service qualification once I’ve finished my training.
Is the Arnold Clark apprenticeship as you imagined it would be?
It has been and more! I’ve always enjoyed helping people, so I was prepared for that coming into the apprenticeship, but I wasn’t prepared for the sheer variety that I’m faced with daily. It may be a little cliché, but no two days are ever the same. It really makes every day interesting and makes me feel that, even in 10 or 20 years, I’ll still be learning and experiencing new things.
What have been some of the difficulties so far?
I really believe that the difficulties depend on the apprentice. This apprenticeship revolves around people, and how each apprentice approaches this will be different, with some loving the elements that others struggle with.
I would say, though, that whatever you struggle with, don’t be scared to get stuck in with it. Pushing your boundaries and getting out of your comfort zone is important, and it really helps knowing that you have the support of your mentors and teachers every step of the way.
What have been some of the key skills you’ve needed throughout your apprenticeship with Arnold Clark?
Patience, an open mind and to be understanding. Without a doubt, these are the key skills I’ve needed so far – and they are not just for the customers, applying them to myself is just as important! Apprenticeships are tough, and, like I said previously, every day I’m faced with new challenges. Staying patient and being understanding with myself as I learn to help customers has been vital to providing the best customer service I can.
What has been the highlight so far?
Learning new skills and building a career is great, but honestly, being able to help people is what drew me to the apprenticeship in the first place, and being able to do that every day is my highlight so far.
Do you have any advice for someone who is thinking of taking an apprenticeship?
Come to the job with an open mind and the willingness to help and learn. There is always going to be something new for you to experience, so make sure you are prepared, and ask for help if you feel you are struggling with something–it’ll take you far!
In your own words, what does the apprenticeship mean to you?
At first, I just wanted to learn and progress while working. However, over the course of the journey, I’ve realised the people you encounter along the way help to shape you into the best version of yourself, which to me, is the best part.