Retail apprentice goes ‘back to school’ and receives distinction

Retail apprentice goes ‘back to school’ and receives distinction


A retail apprentice working with Midlands training company Performance Through People (PTP) overcame his concerns about taking tests to complete a retail course with distinction.

Jamie Nixon, a self-confessed “workaholic” from Snodland in Kent, has worked at Parkfoot garage & convenience store in nearby West Malling from when he was still at school.

He completed the Retailer Level 2 course with a distinction mark and was immediately offered a Level 3 Manager apprenticeship by A.F. Blakemore, which he began in August.

He was offered a full-time job at Parkfoot while still at sixth form and has since gone from shelf-stacker to supervisor at the independent family-run store, which operates a petrol station, jet wash, grocery, butchers and bakery.

He has now set his sights on successfully completing a manager’s apprenticeship with his newfound confidence. The apprenticeships were provided through a partnership that PTP has with A.F. Blakemore & Son Ltd, the Black Country-based national grocery supplier.

Jamie, aged 32, who is married with two children said: “I decided it would be great to do the Level 2 Retailer apprenticeship as it would increase my knowledge of the sector. It also meant I had to re-do my GCSE Maths and English, which was a big worry for me as I don’t really do well at tests.

“But with the help of my PTP tutor Vanessa Langford I was given the confidence to get the tests and the rest of the course done. “I found the first course extremely helpful and have been using my new skills at work, so I thought why not take the next step with the higher apprenticeship.”

Jamie explained that his knowledge of office procedures was now at a level where he understood what things affect the business financially.

Simon Tufill, Parkfoot store manager, said: “Jamie has worked for us for many years, and the chance to improve his knowledge through these apprenticeships will greatly increase his productivity.

“His leadership skills are great, but with his new knowledge, he’s leading his team even better and passing on the knowledge to younger team members.”

Vanessa Langford, learning and development tutor at PTP, said: “Jamie is a perfect example that you can take on an apprenticeship at any age. Despite the experience he has gained from 15 years in the retail trade, there was still plenty for him to learn through his Level 2 Retailer apprenticeship, and I am delighted that he did so well.

“We wish him every success on the Level 3 Manager course he has just begun.”