National Apprenticeship Week at International Timber

Published Thursday 12th March 2015

We’re exceptionally proud of our commitment to apprentices – with ten currently on placement throughout our offices in the UK in roles ranging from sales to operations and beyond.

By training up the next generation, we aim to bridge the skills gap and ensure we’ve got a steady flow of bright, enthusiastic people in place to drive our business forward.

Apprenticeships are a tried and trusted way to develop and progress staff and we’re proud to have a range of staff that have joined – and stayed with us – from straight out of college.

This provides a close environment and a family feel, which we think is perfect for a new starter in the job market – with the unity and security provided by the role offering a great comfort to newcomers.

“Apprentices are encouraged to think as large and expansive as they want and will be supported. The apprentices will work in all departments to get a rounded view of sales including a period in the yard operation – this is critical in my opinion. They will travel to other depots and gain exposure to the wider business.

“I was 15 years old when I started here (for two weeks) which is now illegal! I was fresh out of my O levels and that is now 28 years ago (I did cheat and leave for 6 years).  I believe apprentices are the best way to train, keep stability and get the right people.” – Jason Daw, Regional Sales Director. International Timber, Parkend.

From the Horse’s Mouth

We’ve also asked our apprentices about their experiences in various roles and parts of the country, so without further ado, here’s what they had to say.

Lee Harrison – 21 Years old

International Timber Purfleet - Operations Apprentice

How long have your worked for International Timber?

10 Months

What you have learned so far?

Since being at International Timber I have learned a lot. Coming with no office experience I feel I have really progressed well. I started in despatch and learned how to do that then moved on to transport, learning new skills all the time. I am now in the stock team and have learnt to use the systems well and learning the products and processes side within the company and how it runs on a daily basis.

What do you most enjoy about working at International Timber?  The thing I enjoy most is the people I work with. I really enjoy working with them and they always make time to help me and teach me new skills.

What’s one fact about yourself that nobody knows?

My nan had 16 kids.

Ryan Wigglesworth – 19 years old

International Timber Hull – Sales & Service Apprentice

How long you have been in the role?

10 months

What you have learned so far?

So far I have learnt how to book stock on to the system, input orders, despatch, fill in the OTIF report, use the Kerridge, as well as Saint Gobain, International Timber company information and background.

What you most like about being with International Timber?

The thing I have most enjoyed about being with International Timber is the people I work with they are all really friendly and supportive.

What’s fact about yourself that nobody knows?

I used to be in the school cross country team.

Matthew Dymond – 17years old

International Timber Parkend – Sales Apprentice  

How long you have been in the role?

Four months

What you have learned so far?

Compared to my very first day here in Parkend I feel as though I have learnt a fair amount. I would not have been able to list more than 3 different types of timber and I had no concept of the vast range of species, profiles and services that we have to offer. I have learnt the different ways of quoting a customer’s enquiry e.g. lump sum prices, mill costing’s etc. as well as the full process which is required in order for the whole operation to run smoothly when processing sales orders.

Due to the fact that some customers use imperial measurements and some use metric, I have had to learn the measurement conversions and other basic calculations in order to assist and provide the customer with the best service possible.

What you most like about being with International Timber?

During my few months here at international timber I have and continue to enjoy every moment. Everybody made me feel extremely welcome when I first started and within a matter of days I was joining in with some of the office laughs (after work was completed of course). I simply cannot specify one individual thing that I enjoy most about working here due to the fact that I love everything about it. I have not as yet experienced the ‘Monday feeling’ about work simply because I rather look forward to it. Work is not work when you enjoy it and have a genuine interest.

What’s one fact about yourself that nobody knows?

I have dived the biggest ship wreck in the Red Sea and I am also a cave diving and seep diving specialist.