Why Apprenticeships Should Be Valued All Year Round – International Logistics Company Shine a Light on Learners

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Leading supply chain provider Panalpina last week championed the value of balance in the workplace by hosting a one year anniversary for their apprentices. 

The young cohort, who all joined Panalpina in October 2018, were invited by the business to mark the occasion and celebrate their successful first year at the company. 

On Thursday 19th September, the 12 apprentices, many of whom joined the company through Seetec Outsource, enjoyed a day of games, discussions and treats courtesy of Panalpina. The event was held as a nod to young learners, recognising the skills and values they bring to the workplace and to show them how much they are truly appreciated. 

Prior to the event, each learner was asked to present to the management team to show them what they had learnt over the past 12 months and their key achievements during that time. As part of this, the group also played themed games such as freight charades and port bingo, entertaining a highly competitive management team as well as educating the learners on more about Panalpina and the business. After this, the group took part in a short team building exercise at Top Golf in Watford. Once presentations and games were over, Panalpina awarded each learner with a gift voucher and they were collectively treated to a team dinner. 

Panalpina, who also hosted a special circus themed event for their apprentices back in March, is keen to celebrate their apprentices as much as possible. While many large businesses take part in National Apprenticeship Week every year, the supply chain provider want to do more all year round to raise awareness for apprenticeships in general and the value of them for each business. 

Katie Herdman, HR Director at Panalpina, said “The apprentice anniversary was a great event and it was fun to see everyone get involved. It’s safe to say that all our learners stuck to the brief and creativity was delivered.  Each group demonstrated great teamwork showing clearly how they have progressed over the past 12 months.”

She continued “From a business perspective, the apprentices help us bridge the skill gap the logistics industry is experiencing. Brexit will create even more of a skill shortage and the development of our own talent pools is no longer nice to have but a business imperative. From the apprentices’ perspective, apprenticeships are an opportunity to have a career rather than a job. Many school leavers now choose the apprenticeship path rather than the University route as they feel that they will be more “job ready” and therefore more “employable” at the end of their apprenticeship.”

Training and education provider, Seetec Outsource, work with Panalpina to help train, coach and deliver the right candidates needed, including apprentices.



Callum Meehan, 18 from Manchester, is one of the learners who took part on the day. He said “I found the apprenticeship day very interesting and fun, it was a great opportunity to showcase what we have learnt and put our skills we have developed since being an apprentice to use. I really enjoyed being with other apprentices and hearing their opinions and thoughts on what it is like as an apprentice as they were very similar to mine. It was a great way of reassuring each other that everybody makes mistakes, it is just how to deal with them and knowing where to go when they happen.

Being an apprentice has been an amazing opportunity to develop a career pathway for myself whilst earning and learning!”

Nicola Bardsley, Director of Apprenticeship Operations comments “”It’s been a great journey working with Panalpina and being able to support them in their workshop has been great fun. It’s certainly different and a great way to raise awareness about apprentices and overall balance in the workplace. Seeing a company who values apprenticeships and the work they deliver, as well as encouraging a healthy balance in the workplace, is refreshing. We’re excited to continue building a strong partnership with the whole Panalpina team.”

Seetec Group has provided employers across the UK with support in training and recruitment for over 35 years and want to stress to businesses that with the right service, they can still provide learners and employees with a quality training programme that works efficiently for anyone looking to get involved, from young learners to large multinational corporations.


To find more www.seetec.co.uk/employer or contact 0800 38 91 999

For more information contact Rebecca Hanberry at Down at the Social on 07854135834 or email seetec@downatthesocial.co.uk


Notes to Editors:

About Seetec

Seetec is one of the UK’s leading skills, employment and training providers and helps support people and businesses to grow their talent. They currently offer traineeship pathways in business administration, sport and recreation, retail, hospitality and digital skills.

Founded in 1984 Seetec has grown by focusing on high quality delivery and service user outcomes to be one of the largest employee owned business service providers across welfare, skills, justice and public services in the UK and Ireland. Seetec’s portfolio of contracted programmes spans numerous Government departments and local authorities including the Department for Work and Pensions, Justice and Business, Innovation and Skills in the UK and the Department of Social Protection in Ireland. Seetec work with over 100,000 individuals every year, delivering interventions, tracking progress and outcomes and integrating funded provision to add value to individuals and their communities. Seetec’s FY16 turnover was £82m and employs c. 1250 individuals across 115 delivery locations in the UK and Ireland.  www.seetec.co.uk.

About Panalpina

The Panalpina Group is one of the world’s leading providers of supply chain solutions. The company combines its core products – Air Freight, Ocean Freight, and Logistics and Manufacturing – to deliver globally integrated, tailor-made end-to-end solutions for twelve core industries. Drawing on in-depth industry know-how and customized IT systems, Panalpina manages the needs of its customers’ supply chains, no matter how demanding they might be. Energy and Project Solutions is a specialized service for the energy and capital projects sector. The Panalpina Group operates a global network with some 500 offices in around 70 countries, and it works with partner companies in another 100 countries. Panalpina employs approximately 14,500 people worldwide who deliver a comprehensive service to the highest quality standards – wherever and whenever.

Why Generation Z are Opting for Apprenticeship Schemes over a Degree

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There has been a shift in recent years between school-leavers taking apprenticeships over full-time education. As fees continue to rise it has become a more viable option to join a business immediately whilst also learning new skills. Whereas over 110,000 apprenticeships were created last Autumn, university applications dropped by 4%. Employment and skills specialist Seetec work with many major businesses across the North West raising awareness of the benefits of apprenticeship schemes. They have helped drive an increase in the number of apprenticeship sign-ups between the ages of 19 and 25.

Bradley Lawson, 23 from Manchester, tried college after finishing school but realised it wasn’t for him. Joining Cresta Cars he had an opportunity to sign up for an apprenticeship scheme studying for a level 2 business admin qualification working in the corporate accounts department. “I started at the company in the call centre but wanted to study something different. I’m good with numbers, the company offered the apprenticeship scheme and it was ideal for me.  I’ve broadened my knowledge and gaining a qualification will open many doors for me. I’ve been here for five years and studying has helped move my position forward. Studying alongside the work didn’t affect my salary so I was able to enjoy life at the same time as developing myself.”


                  Bradley Lawson, aged 23, is an apprenticeship for Cresta Cars

Bradley says “College really wasn’t for me so I’m grateful that I’ve found a way to study that doesn’t compromise my work. I think university and college are great options for people who know what they want to do but others like me who aren’t mentally prepared for what’s next it’s perfect. The apprenticeship scheme is so great, you can pick it up at any age and earn while you learn.”
Conor Anderson from Liverpool worked at a large supermarket chain straight from high school, but as he got older he started to think about his long term goals. “I felt it was too late for university but I knew I wanted more from my job. I researched apprenticeships but didn’t really know what was out there or if anything would appeal to me. I’ve always had an interest in social media and how it works so it was great to find qualifications in it.”

Now, aged 23, Conor is studying his Level 3 in Digital Marketing and works full time for care provider PSS as a Digital Communications and Tech Assistant. “Things progressed really quickly, I started the scheme and within six months was offered a role so was earning alongside my studies. I continue to learn on the job and as digital is such a constantly changing industry I can evolve and add value to the role I have within the business.”

Despite studying alongside a full time job Conor was surprised at how easy it was to manage. “My company are really understanding, I have a few hours a week to catch up on any work so I’m not overwhelmed with both sides of the scheme. There are a few apprentices here so it’s good to have others to talk to about the studying. I am on course to complete my qualification earlier than planned which is a bonus, it’s been a quick process and since I’m young I know that the progression is only going to push me further.”

Learning a skill alongside hands-on experience is invaluable to both businesses and employees, Seetec understands the benefits of people like Conor and Bradley can have on building businesses. Apprenticeship schemes benefit both parties without disruption to a usual working environment, providing the best future for young people.

Gemma Swindlehurst is Apprenticeship Delivery Coach at Seetec