Meet our Apprentice - Lucy

Stairways blog-2

At Stairways, we are passionate about nurturing the next generation of talent, both within our own business and beyond it in the wider construction sector.

We are proud to have two Go Construct STEM Ambassadors on the team – Karen Wood, our Joint MD and Owner, and Richard Kowalski, Technical Manager for Doors, who share their expertise and experience to help inspire young people considering a career in our sector.

We are also rightly proud of the training and opportunities we provide internally. We currently have a number of apprentices working in the business building their skills, knowledge and confidence to take them forward, as they contribute their invaluable work to our teams.

Among them is Lucy, who loves shadowing and learning from different team members as part of her Level 2 apprenticeship in accounting.
To give you all a little insight into life as an apprentice, we spoke with Lucy who told us all about her experience…

What does your role entail?

Since starting my apprenticeship, I have covered many different aspects of the accounting department at Stairways, shadowing and working closely with the purchase and sales ledgers to understand the jobs within their roles.

Recently I have moved to work alongside Amie Cobane, Group Financial Controller, where she has given me new jobs to complete on my own, including production reports and uploading invoices to Tradex.

What have you learnt from the job since starting your apprenticeship?

As I am working in such a fast-paced environment where the completion of my work needs to be done by a certain deadline, both within the workplace and from college, I have had to learn how to manage it all. The balance between the workloads is something I have adapted to, and now, I can efficiently manage all my work to avoid becoming stressed.

How has the physical experience benefited your learning?

In the ‘on the job’ side of my apprenticeship I am learning the practical ways in which an accounting department all work together to please both the suppliers and the customers. This process, completed by every member of the department, has a massive impact on the relationships with traders and so is incredibly important. I have been able to learn how to communicate professionally and correctly to resolve any discrepancies found whilst trading so that the relationship between us and the supplier/customer is kept for future trading to happen.

Has the apprenticeship helped you to develop yourself?

Since starting my apprenticeship, I have been much more confident within myself, especially as I’ve become more comfortable with my team, who are very friendly and welcoming. With this grown confidence, I’ve found myself asking more questions about things I am uncertain of or need guidance with, which has massively helped me to develop my skill set within my job role.

What are your plans for the future?

Once my level 2 apprenticeship in accounting has been completed, I plan to move on to the level 3 course. There I will be able to learn more about the finance/accounting processes and job roles, which I am very passionate about pursuing for my career.

Why Stairways?

The apprenticeship was first introduced to me by the college. Once they gave me the job description I looked into Stairways as a company and quickly decided that they were the perfect company to start my accounting career with. As a part of my research, I toured one of their factories and poured over their website, both of which convinced me that they were a well-established, long-running and professional company – which was exactly what I was looking for.

What does a regular week at work look like for you?

My role consists of many different jobs, across the accounting department. Each week, I am in charge of managing production sheets, completing costs of sales summary reports, uploading invoices to Tradex, making sure all PODs are sent to the listed companies and searching companies on credit safe to see if they’re eligible for a credit account. I also have one day a week solely dedicated to my college work, typically a Thursday.

Due to my progress, I have recently been given even more responsibility and I now manage the Stairways Holdings account. With help and support from Amie, we have started to reconcile with the bank and upload the Holdings invoices.

Stairways

Author: Stairways

Stairways, founded in 1989, has grown to become one of the UK’s largest manufacturers of carpentry and joinery products. Stairways now boast three state-of-art facilities that offer over 85,000 sq ft production capacity. Stairways goal is to raise their profile and brand awareness to become known throughout the industry as the UK’s leading staircase and door solution provider.

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Commitment

As a highly reputable firm within the industry, Stairways are dedicated to meeting their client’s product and application requirements. All materials used are manufactured to the highest quality and meet the relevant standards achieving ISO9001, FSC®, and various product certifications, whilst their staircases and door solutions are manufactured with compliance to UK building regulations & legislative standards in mind. Using the knowledge, passion, and experience acquired across all team members over the past thirty years, Stairways aim to continue to be the best in what they do.

THE FUTURE

Stairways are continuously looking for opportunities to improve and expand their service offering; this includes the investment in new machinery to further enhance and innovate the manufacturing process, with the aim to shorten lead times and increase overall in-house capacity. The changes Stairways employ are always focused upon improving the customer experience, to ensure their process remains as efficient as possible from start to finish.

THE HISTORY

Privately owned and managed since it was founded in 1989, Stairways has grown to become one of the UK’s largest manufacturers of carpentry and joinery products. Starting as a small staircase manufacturer, Stairways now boast three state-of-art facilities that offer over 85,000 sq ft of bespoke and mass production capacity.