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Keeping talent on its toes: IPP takes on its first UK apprentice

07 Feb, 2020 | published at 11:36 CET

Former ballet enthusiast Caitlyn Willis is being kept on her toes as one of Coventry’s youngest business apprentices as she joins IPP, a leading European pooler of sustainable wooden pallets to the retail supply chain, as a commercial apprentice.

Celebrating National Apprenticeship Week, the 17-year-old recently joined our Meriden-based head office as part of her 18-month business induction, where she will hone her commercial skills through on-the-job coaching, as well as undertaking a level 3 business administration apprenticeship at Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce Training (CWCCT).

She is our first ever apprentice as we look to develop a talent pool of experts in the supply chain and the circular economy.

Caitlyn, who lives in nearby Coleshill, Warwickshire, made an impression on the team during her interview, showing experience and maturity beyond her years.

Growing our own

Shelley Harris, our commercial director, said: “Caitlyn is our first apprentice under this scheme and she really shone during her interview, which is a great start for us as we look to a new future that relies upon greater collaboration to help drive sustainability in the supply chain.

“Our strapline is ‘powered by people’ so we were looking for someone who could work as part of a hard working team as well as learn a wide raft of commercial skills.

“IPP is invested in ‘growing its own’ talent and works in the fresh produce supply chain where we sponsor the Fresh Produce Consortium’s Young Person of the Year award. We are committed to this cause, so Caitlyn’s arrival is great timing.”

Caitlyn, a former pupil at Coleshill School where she achieved a strong raft of GCSE grades, said: “I previously worked in an estate agency in the marketing function. I am a fast learner and I was looking for a foot in the door in an expanding company where I could learn commercial skills and be stretched - IPP provided that opportunity.

“I did think about going on to do my A levels, but I thought an apprenticeship was a better way to learn quickly by working with people. I am already learning different roles, problem-solving and how the business works – it’s really exciting and challenging.”

Lucy Howl, account manager at CWT, added: “Caitlyn is doing a Business Administration Level 3 apprenticeship. This is very intense and immersive and requires one day a week at college for the first 20 weeks. In addition to her trainer, she has a trainer assessor who supports with her qualification and in the workplace.

“At the end of her 18 months she will also have to present her project which will help boost her confidence, as well as take part in a professional discussion on her portfolio, and successfully complete a knowledge-based test to complete her apprenticeship.”